The Bharatiya Janata Party has decided to take out rallies across West Bengal to protest against the Trinamool Congress government's decision to deny permission for its rath yatra.
As part of its protest programme, the BJP has organised a "ganatantra bachao (save democracy) andolan" in Arambagh area of Hooghly district on Monday. The BJP leaders have also threatened to organise a "civil disobedience" campaign in West Bengal if they were stopped from holding the protest rallies.
"We will inform the masses about the undemocratic atmosphere prevailing in the state and the need for the 'save democracy' rally at this hour," state BJP president Dilip Ghosh said at a press meet in Kolkata.
Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani was also present at the meet.
"It seems that the state government is afraid to see the voices of democracy coming together to fight against the government," she said.
The Mamata Banerjee-led government had on Saturday denied permission for the BJP's rath yatra on the ground that it might cause communal tension. The yatra, touted as the BJP's "save democracy" programme, was scheduled to start from the Cooch Behar district.
BJP president Amit Shah, who had set a target of 22 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal, was scheduled to flag off three chariots from as many places. The chariots were meant to travel across all 42 parliamentary constituencies in West Bengal over the next one-and-a-half months.
At the conclusion of the yatra, the BJP had planned a massive rally in Kolkata, likely to be addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.