Coochbehar (WB): West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh has said his party has full faith in the judiciary and hoped it would be able to kick-start its Rath Yatra campaign from Friday.

The Calcutta High Court had on Thursday refused permission to the BJP for holding the Rath Yatra in Coochbehar, after the West Bengal government refused to allow the event, saying it may cause communal tension.

BJP president Amit Shah was scheduled to flag off the yatra, touted as the party’s biggest political campaign in West Bengal, from here today.

“We have full faith in the judiciary and are hopeful that justice will be delivered. We are hopeful that we would be able to take out the Rath Yatra programme from today (Friday),” Ghosh said.

“Whenever we have wanted to take out a rally or conduct a political programme, the State government has tried to stop it either by denying us permission or tried to create procedural hurdles,” he alleged.

The BJP decided to put on hold Shah’s proposed rally and the Rath Yatra, saying it will wait for the final order from the high court, which is scheduled to hear an appeal by the party today.

The Calcutta High Court on Thursday 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.

The court directed that superintendents of police of all districts in West Bengal will file a report by 21 December to it on the holding of ‘rath yatra’ rallies by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), after hearing all the district presidents of the party.

Directing that the rally stands deferred till the next date of hearing on 9 January, Justice Tapabrata Chakraborty observed that the prayer of BJP for permission to hold the ‘rath yatra’ cannot be granted at this stage.

The BJP was scheduled to hold three ‘rath yatras’ that will start from different parts and traverse all the 42 Lok Sabha constituencies.

The BJP campaign was scheduled to begin from Cooch Behar district in the north on 7 December, from Kakdwip in the South 24 Parganas district on 9 December, and from the Tarapith temple in Birbhum district on 14 December.

State advocate general Kishore Dutta told the court that the Cooch Behar superintendent of police refused permission for the BJP president’s rath yatra from Friday. The State government submitted that it might cause communal tension in the district.

Dutta said the district has a history of communal issues and that there was information that some “communal provocateurs” and rowdy elements had become active there.

The SP’s refusal letter also noted that several top BJP leaders would come to Coochbehar, as also people from other states, stating that these may affect the communally sensitive district.