Mamata and the Hindu right-wing are again at loggerheads
BJP President Amit Shah has been denied permission to host a rally at Netaji Indoor Stadium when he would visit West Bengal between September 11 and 13. This is on the heels of RSS supremo Mohan Bhagwat being denied permission at Mahajati Sadan, a WB government-run auditorium. The Hindu right-wing has come up in arms declaring this to be Mamata's "appeasement of jehadi elements."
What is the government saying?
TMC leaders insist that regarding the stadium's booking, the party or the government has no say in these matters. However, concerning the Mahajati Sadan, they said the auditorium will be undergoing maintenance for 10 days and 10 other programmes have also been cancelled. They also asserted that they had fewer bookings during Durga Puja days and thus closed the auditorium for renovation.
What are the BJP and RSS saying?
RSS and the BJP are accusing Mamata of not allowing them to conduct these programmes out of "vengeance." Sister Nivedita Mission Trust, the organizers of the Mohan Bhagwat programme, claims to have completed all formalities; they are about to obtain the NoC from Kolkata Police. The BJP also says that they had received the confirmation about the stadium's booking, but it was later cancelled.
Mamata has denied permission for such rallies earlier
Noticeably, such incidents have happened earlier too. In January, Bhagwat's rally was denied permission "citing general safety and public order" as the reason. Shah was also denied permission to hold a rally in 2014 by the Mamata government. However, the Calcutta HC had later allowed them.
Mamata's frequent run-ins with the Right Wing
Mamata's diktat that there will be no Durga idol immersion on Muharram (Oct 1) created a furore and angered saffron outfits. The right wing alleges that Mamata makes such decisions to appease the minorities, her main vote-bank. In lieu of 2019 elections, the BJP and RSS have turned on the Hindutva heat in WB and such incidents help in giving fuel to the fire.