Vishwa Hindu Parishad chief Pravin Togadia has cancelled his controversial tour of West Bengal two days after the Mamata Banerjee government issued a circular banning his entry into the state. Mr Togadia was scheduled to address a rally at Raiganj in North Dinajpur district on April 5.
Even after the ban order issued by the state government, Mr Togadia was bent on visiting the state even if he had to flout the prohibitory orders. According to sources, the BJP central leadership succeeded in dissuading Mr Togadia from a confrontation with the Mamata Banerjee government.
On Thursday, North Dinajpur vice-president Tejendra Narayan Bose had moved a local court and a PIL was also filed in the Calcutta high court challenging the state government’s ban order.
VHP sources on Friday said that Mr Togadia eventually decided against visiting the state at this juncture. He also issued a press statement attacking the chief minister for stopping him from visiting Bengal.
“She does not prohibit the entry of Bangladeshi infiltrators in the state… Her decision is ridiculous and undemocratic. It shows that the state is heading towards an Emergency-like situation,” he said.
He also slammed the promulgation of prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC in the entire state by home secretary Basudeb Banerjee. Mr Togadia argued that such a blanket ban would inconvenience people who observe Mahavir Jayanti on April 2, Good Friday on April 3, Hanuman Jayanti on April 4 and those who offer Friday prayers.
He advised his followers to protest the ban order in a peaceful democratic manner and create awareness among people. He has also asked them to send emails and letters to the chief minister protesting the ban order. On Wednesday, home secretary Basudeb Banerjee had issued a circular barring Mr Togadia’s entry on the ground that his presence would disturb communal harmony and peace in the state.