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Instead of Sep 16, TMC seeks fresh consent for Abhishek rally in Tripura on Sep 22

Abhishek Banerjee

Kolkata: A fresh letter seeking permission to hold Trinamool Congress (TMC) all India general secretary Abhishek Banerjee’s rally in Agartala on September 22 was sent to city police on Tuesday. The party said it might move court, if the consent does not come.

The tussle between the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for political one-upmanship, which played out in West Bengal during the assembly election campaigning, is now being repeated in Tripura.

West Bengal BJP MP Arjun Singh’s oblique reference to the permissions being denied to BJP leaders during the assembly poll campaigning, put things in perspective.

“The TMC has time-and-again denied permission to BJP central leaders from holding rallies in West Bengal during assembly election. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also had to change his schedule and permission for the helipad was also not given,” said Singh.

Some would say déjà vu!

But the sequence of events which panned out on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday would make one believe just that.

On Sunday, the Trinamool Congress leadership had announced that the rally would happen on September 15. Next day, Monday, they said the rally will instead take place on September 16 as permission was denied after being allowed initially. And then again on Tuesday, the party sought a fresh permission for September 22.

TMC West Bengal general secretary Kunal Ghosh had said that the BJP is afraid of Abhishek and the TMC, so they have hatched a “conspiracy”.

Party MP Abhishek Banerjee tweeted:

@BJP4India  is SCARED TO DEATH and @BjpBiplab is using all his might & resources to prevent me from entering Tripura.

Keep trying but you CANNOT stop me. Your fear of @AITCofficial shows that your days in governance are numbered.


Reacting to the TMC barbs, Tripura BJP spokesperson Navendu Bhattacharjee said on Tuesday over phone, “A common man does not fear another man. When the TMC says that we are scared of them, it indirectly, proves that they have a darker side, which people should be afraid of. If a man from the jungle comes to town, he will scare everyone. In Bengal, they have duare mafia (mafia at doorstep), duare dharshak (rapists at doorstep) during the unveiling of the various schemes. Tripura people are ready to face them.”

Explaining the sequence of events, Bhattacharjee said, “On September 15, we have an event by mahila morcha, for which we got permission from police on September 11. So the TMC were not given permission. We are celebrating Seba Saptah in honour of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s birthday for Modi’s birthday from September 17 for 20 days. Let them apply again. When they get the permission, we will see.”  

There are also many missing links in what the TMC and the BJP leaders are claiming pertaining to the permission for the rally.

The TMC had initially announced that despite granting permission for the padyatra, the police cancelled the rally in Tripura on September 15.

But the BJP sources denied the TMC claims of permission being granted earlier. “This is a complete lie by the Trinamool Congress. They were never granted permission. Let them show the papers,” said a party source in Agartala on Monday.

Another source later added, “The permission for the September 16 rally too has not been granted by the police and they have informed the TMC about it. On September 16-17 Tripura celebrates Viswakarma Puja in a grand way. If the rally happens on the day there can be logistical and law and order issues.”     

West Tripura district police chief Manik Lal Das said that the women wing of BJP had sought permission from the police to hold a rally in Agartala prior to the TMC.