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Permission for Shah’s Bengal rally being delayed says BJP


New Delhi, Feb 22: West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh on Friday accused the state police of "dilly-dallying" over granting permission for Union home minister Amit Shah's proposed rally here on March 1. Shah is scheduled to address a rally at Shaheed Minar Ground where the BJP's state unit wants to felicitate him for the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

"We are yet to get permission from the police for the rally. The police department is saying board exams will be on during that period and we can't use loudspeakers. They have cited this reason and are dilly-dallying," Ghosh said.

West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh

Ghosh said Shaheed Minar Ground is neither located in a residential area nor does it have any school in the vicinity. He also said no examination is scheduled for that day. "This is being done to politicize the matter."

The BJP had submitted a letter to Kolkata police on Thursday seeking permission for the rally.

The secondary examinations of the state board which started on February 18 will end on February 27. The higher secondary examinations will be held from March 12 to March 27.

Restrictions are in place on the use of loudspeakers due to that.

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If allowed, it will be Shah's second visit to West Bengal after assuming the office of Union home minister. He had addressed a seminar on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB) at Netaji Indoor stadium on October 1.

The state's TMC government had denied police permission for Shah's rallies several times when he was the BJP president.

Speaking about the upcoming municipal polls, Ghosh said his party is fully prepared but ample time should be given to parties for campaigning as the elections are likely to be held in mid-April and the board examinations will continue till the end of March.

"We are ready to face the civic polls but where is the time for campaigning? We will get only 10-12 days for it. There should be ample time for campaigning," Ghosh said.

When asked whether the BJP would move court if adequate time was not given for electioneering, he said, "Let them announce the dates. We would then take a call."

According to the state government and State Election Commission (SEC) sources, dates between April 12 and April 26 are being considered for elections to 107 civic bodies and the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) which is being billed as "mini Assembly polls" ahead of the 2021 state election.

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