Shah hits out at Mamata as rally fails to take off

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - - FRONT PAGE - Su­manta Ray Chaud­huri, Snigdhendu Bhat­tacharya and Ku­mar Ut­tam

KOLKATA/COOCH BE­HAR/NEW DELHI: The Cal­cutta high court on Fri­day or­dered the state chief sec­re­tary, home sec­re­tary and di­rec­tor gen­eral of po­lice to meet BJP lead­ers by De­cem­ber 12 and de­cide whether the party’s pro­posed ya­tras in the state should go ahead, as the BJP squared off against the rul­ing Tri­namool Congress (TMC) well ahead of the bat­tle for Ben­gal in next year’s gen­eral elec­tion.

Mod­i­fy­ing an or­der by a sin­gle bench that put all three BJP ya­tras on hold un­til Jan­uary 9, a divi­sion bench of the court said the three state of­fi­cials should meet with, at the most, three lead­ers from the party and reach a de­ci­sion by De­cem­ber 14. In­ci­den­tally, De­cem­ber 12 is the day af­ter the re­sults of elec­tions in five states are to be de­clared. Jus­tice Biswanath So­mad­der gave the di­rec­tive af­ter a hear­ing that lasted all day.

In one of the re­marks dur­ing the de­bate, the judge asked the coun­sel for the BJP whether the party in its sev­eral let­ters to the ad­min­is­tra­tion men­tioned that the meet­ing they sought was for the ya­tra. The judges also pulled up the ad­min­is­tra­tion, with Jus­tice So­mad­der us­ing words like “as­tound­ing” and as­ton­ish­ing” to de­scribe the at­ti­tude of the state gov­ern­ment.

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