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    Mamata Banerjee scared of BJP rath yatra, strangling democracy, says Amit Shah

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    New Delhi, Dec 7: BJP chief Amit Shah on Friday launched a sharp attack on the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee over her government's refusal to permit Party's "rath yatra" in the state, which was scheduled to begin from Coochbehar on Friday.

    BJP President Amit Shah

    "I want to tell Mamata Banerjee that by not giving permission to BJP programs, you will only invite the ire of people in your state. She (Mamata) is scared that if BJP takes out all these three rallies in the state of West Bengal and assemble in Kolkata then the foundation of a complete change will be laid down. So she attempted to stop all these yatras," Amit Shah said while addressing a press conference on Rath Yatra.

    "A democratic process (Rath Yatra) has been suppressed in West Bengal with rampant misuse of power. The CM is following this trend, this is non-democratic," he said.

    "We will definitely carry out all 'yatras', nobody can stop us. BJP committed to change in West Bengal. The 'yatras' have not been cancelled, just postponed," Shah said.

    Mounting a scathing attack against the Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government, he also alleged that the state leads in the number of political killings in the country. "The entire West Bengal administration is working for the ruling TMC," he added.

    Amit Shah claimed that there is more violence in the state under Mamata rule than what was witnessed here ever before. "The people are tired of what they are seeing, experiencing. I am sure voters will side with us in state elections here next year."

    Also Read | PM to address 5 rallies in WB during rath yatra; if it is stopped there will be a new format

    The BJP was scheduled to hold three 'rath yatras' that will start from different parts and traverse all the 42 Lok Sabha constituencies. It had moved the court seeking a direction to the state government for giving permission for its rallies after its applications allegedly went unanswered.

    On Thursday night, the Calcutta High Court had denied permission for the rally, saying there was not enough time for the state to make adequate security arrangements for a political rally of that scale. The high court also directed the party not to hold any such rally till January 9, 2019. Lawyers from the BJP then approached the division bench of the high court.

    Since the court's ban is specifically on rallies and not on public meetings, West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh said on Thursday that they will hold the public meeting at Jhinaidanga even if they were denied permission for the rally.

    The BJP campaign was scheduled to begin from Cooch Behar district in the north on December 7, from Kakdwip in the South 24 Parganas district on December 9, and from the Tarapith temple in Birbhum district on December 14.

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