Amid a huge battle with the Centre, the Mamata Banerjee government pointed to a hitch in Yogi Adityanath’s scheduled rally in Purulia this afternoon. Thousands of people are already waiting for the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, who, after Sunday’s trouble over landing permission for his chopper, is arriving by road via Jharkhand. Reports suggest Yogi Adityanath has crossed into Bengal from Jharkhand.

While the Chief Minister ran late — the rally was due at 1 pm — local officials at Purulia, 300 km from Kolkata, said the paperwork for the rally is not in order.

Leaders of the BJP have assured that the matter is being taken care of and the rally will be held.

Similar assurances, however, fell flat on Sunday, when the state government refused permission for the landing of Yogi Adityanath’s chopper for his Ganatantra Bachao (Save Democracy) rally in north Bengal.

The Chief Minister finally had to address the rally on cellphone.

The BJP has complained to the Election Commission that the Mamata Banerjee government, instead of following democratic processes, was setting hurdles for every programme of the party in the state.

Earlier, permission was denied for BJP chief Amit Shah’s chopper landing in Malda. The BJP’s plan to hold three rath yatras in the state was also vetoed by the government, which said it could create religious tension in the state.

The BJP has set its eyes on 22 seats in Bengal, which, with 42 seats, sends the largest number of lawmakers in parliament after Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra.

Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who has amped up the turf war, today said, “Ask Yogi to take care of Uttar Pradesh first. So many people have been killed, even the police were murdered…so many people were lynched”.

Taking a dig at Yogi Adityanath, whose stronghold Gorakhpur was won by the Akhilesh Yadav-Mayawati combine last year, she said, “He will lose if he contests elections. He doesn’t have a place to stand in UP, that’s why he’s roaming around in Bengal.”


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