A BJP protest meet in Bengal's Bashirhat ended in violence as alleged party workers clashed with the police, triggering a lathicharge. The protest, which the BJP dubbed "law violation programme", is against the state government's refusal to allow the party to hold Rath Yatra in the state. The BJP has approached the Supreme Court against the government order.
At Bashirhat town, the police used batons on a mob that had started throwing stones. State BJP chief Dilip Ghosh said some of the party workers have been injured in the police action. But he denied that any party worker has been involved in the stone throwing.
"We don't know who threw stones at police," he said.
The BJP has announced a week-long "law violation programme" across the state, which started today.
"Rallies will be held in all Bengal districts within one week. If we are stopped from holding rallies anywhere, we would resort to law violation programmes," Mr Ghosh was quoted as saying by news agency Press Trust of India.
The rallies, he said, would form part of the party's public outreach programme in absence of the "Rath yatras".
The three raths, which were to start from three locations in the state, were to criss-cross across all 42 districts before converging in Kolkata sometime in January.
It was part of the massive campaign ahead of next year's national elections, for which BJP chief Amit Shah had set the workers a target to 22 of the state's 40 seats
Calling the plan "another jumla (political rhetoric)", senior Trinamool leader Derek O Brien said the BJP "should work to protect the two seats they've got, otherwise they'd be reduced to zero... the roshogolla would have no sugar".
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