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West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh’s vehicle was attacked Thursday at Sitalkuchi area of Cooch Behar district by unidentified miscreants and the party blamed the ruling TMC for the incident.

Ghosh is in the district to take part in the saffron party’s ‘Rath Yatra’. He was attacked when he was on his way to Mathabhanga in the district.

“TMC leaders attacked my car and shouted slogans demanding that I should go back. Some of my party workers were injured during the violence. The police were watching merely as mute spectators,” he said after the incident at Sitai More in Sitalkuchi.

The district police administration said they are looking into the incident.

BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, secretary Rahul Sinha and senior BJP leader Mukul Roy, who are here in connection with the Rath Yatra criticised the state administration and the ruling TMC for attacking leaders of opposition parties in the state.

They also took part in a torch rally in New Cooch Behar town as a mark of protest.

“Democracy is under threat in Bengal. Innocent people are being killed and tortured just because they are supporting BJP. The TMC government should immediately resign,” Vijayvargiya said.

Senior TMC leader Rabindranath Ghosh termed the allegation as baseless and said the attack was a fallout of infighting in the BJP.

Meanwhile, the BJP has put on hold the party’s ‘Save Democracy Rally’, comprising three ‘Rath Yatras’, following Calcutta High Court’s refusal to grant permission for it.

BJP’s prayer to Chief Justice Debasish Kargupta for the constitution of a special bench for hearing its appeal on Thursday evening as the normal court hours had ended for the day was also turned down.

BJP lawyer Phiroze Edulji said the chief justice has asked the BJP lawyers to move the appeal before the court on Friday morning at 10.30 am.

The High Court said it cannot give permission at this stage for the BJP rally in Coochbehar, scheduled to be flagged off by party president Amit Shah on Friday, after the West Bengal government refused to allow the event on the grounds that it might cause communal tension.

BJP had claimed that the Rath Yatra would be a “game changer” in West Bengal politics and Shah had set a target of winning 22 out of 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state.

The 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.

Apart from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Shah, several top BJP leaders and chief ministers such as Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley, Nitin Gadkari, Nirmala Sitharaman, Raman Singh, Yogi Adityanath, Uma Bharati and Giriraj Singh were scheduled to participate in the campaign.

Modi is likely to attend four rallies to give a thrust to the party’s campaign in the state ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. 

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