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Calcutta HC gives BJP conditional permission for rally, BJP cancels event

Elaborate arrangements have been made by Trinamool Congress for the mega Martyrs’ Day rally on Thursday. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee visited the venue at Esplanade and took note of the preparations

July 21, 2022 04:47 am | Updated 04:47 am IST - Kolkata

Calcutta High Court. File.

Calcutta High Court. File.

The Calcutta High Court on Wednesday granted conditional permission to the BJP to hold a public meeting at Uluberia in Howrah district on Thursday, the very day Trinamool Congress is scheduled to hold a Martyrs’ Day rally in Kolkata. Despite the permission the BJP, however, cancelled the event.

Justice Moushumi Bhattacharya said the meeting can be held from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Uluberia where only locals can participate. The court directed that no provocative statements shall be made at the rally and BJP leaders should ensure adherence to law and order. The court had pointed out that holding public meetings is a democratic right and the court cannot curtail that. 

Leader of the Opposition Suvendu Adhikari said the conditions were difficult to meet and the court, by imposing restrictions, had in a way denied permission for the rally. The State BJP leadership had approached the court after the administration denied permission to hold the rally on Thursday. On Tuesday, the court had asked why the BJP was insistent on holding the rally on July 21 and not any other day.

Rally against totalitarian regime at Centre, says Mamata

During the day, elaborate arrangements were made by Trinamool Congress for the mega rally. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee visited the venue at Esplanade and took note of the preparations. The rally is against the totalitarian regime at the Centre, Ms. Banerjee said, urging supporters to maintain discipline at the rally. “I seek apology from the people as tomorrow there will be traffic jams,” she said.

A large crowd is likely to gather at Esplanade on Thursday to observe Martyrs’ Day, in memory of 13 workers killed in police firing on July 21, 1993 during the Left Front regime. The Martyrs’ Day rally is being held after two years physically. In 2020 and 2021, the Trinamool chairperson had to virtually address the party supporters because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Along with the Chief Minister, Trinamool general secretary Abhishek Banerjee also visited several places where party supporters had already arrived.

Mr. Banerjee said if the rally was held at Brigade Parade grounds it could accommodate more people. Lakhs of Trinamool supporters have already arrived in the city for the event on Thursday which is likely to be a massive show of strength. 

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