Empty secretariat to greet BJP protesters on Thursday

Shubhadeep Choudhury
Tribune News Service
Kolkata, October 7

An empty West Bengal secretariat awaits BJP protesters as they prepare to march to the building on Thursday to press for various demands, including a transparent recruitment process and jobs for unemployed youths.

The programme organised under the banner of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) will see four rallies from different parts of the city heading toward ‘Nabanna’ (state secretariat).

The rally, originating from Howrah Maidan, will be led by BJYM national president Tejasvi Surya himself. The three remaining rallies, starting from Hastings, C R Avenue (State BJP office) and Santragachi will be led, respectively, by BJP general secretary Kailash Vijaybargiya, state president Dilip Ghosh and state unit general secretary Sayantan Basu.

Christened as ‘Nabanna Chalo Abhiyan’, the march is a state-level programme and a crucial show of strength by the BJP to build up momentum for the Assembly polls slated to be held in the state early next year.

What may dampen the mood of the participants of the march is the announcement last night that the secretariat building, where the offices of the top state government functionaries including Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee are located, will remain closed on Thursday and Friday for sanitisation.

“As per decision taken long back and as per standard periodic regular practices, Nabanna will be closed for sanitisation on Thursday

(8.10.20) and Friday ( 9.10.20)”, an official communique from the state government announced.

‘Nabana’ was last sanitised barely four days back. Ordinarily, another round of sanitisation is not required to be carried out again on Thursday.

In a letter to BJYM state functionaries Prakash Das and Gobinda Roy, the state government also urged them to refrain from assembling near the secretariat building since IPC section 144 was in force in the area. The letter also pointed out that under the National Disaster Management Act promulgated by the central government, political gathering exceeding 100 people was prohibited.

BJP state president Dilip Ghosh, however, said that they would go ahead with the protest march in any case. He claimed that their programme had made the state government nervous and Nabanna had been shut down as a result.

Police have erected barriers at the approaching roads to prevent the protesters from marching to the secretariat.

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