The Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), the youth wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), launched their second leg of the mega rally, ‘Pratirodh Sankalp Abhiyan’, from Swami Vivekananda’s ancestral residence in Kolkata on 15 January.
State president Dilip Ghosh flagged off the rally from Vivekanda House in Kolkata. The rally will head to Krishnanagar via Ranaghat.
The flagging off of the rally comes mere days after some participants were assaulted by miscreants.
The eight-day bike rally, which started on 11 January, came under attack on 13 January while on its way from the BJP party office to Swami Vivekananda’s house in Hedua in the heart of Kolkata.
Vehicles were smashed and many of the workers received mild to serious injuries. The BJP accused the supporters of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) for the assault.
Party MP Roopa Ganguly condemned the attack on Twitter and also slammed the TMC for the complete decline of law & order in the state.
“Strongly condemn the attack on BJP karyakartas, observing birth anniversary of #SwamiVivekananda today, without any reason. #WestBengal has turned lawless. #DemocracyInDanger,” she wrote while tagging the official handle of the party and that of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Strongly condemn the attack on BJP karyakartas, observing birth anniversary of #SwamiVivekananda today, without any reason. #WestBengal has turned lawless. #DemocracyInDanger. @narendramodi @AmitShah @KailashOnline @BJP4India @BJP4Bengal
— Roopa Ganguly (@RoopaSpeaks) January 12, 2018
Other BJP members, too, condemned the attack. Mukul Roy said that the ruling party in the state is not allowing the opposition BJP to “exercise its rights”.
But the Trinamool Congress refuted the accusations. Party leader Subrata Mukherjee said that the BJP organizes “provocative programmes”. The party also counter-accused the BJP of vandalism.
The organizers of the rally were denied permission by the police. But on 10 January, a single judge bench of the Calcutta High Court ruled in favour of the organizers.
Even the court-appointed observer of the rally, Special Officer Ravi Shankar Dutta, came under attack.
Following the incident, Union minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari announced that he will not be attending the Bengal Global Business Summit scheduled to be held from January 16-17.