New Delhi: The legal tangle is far from over as far as the BJP's 'Save Democracy' rath yatra in Bengal is concerned. The Supreme Court today dismissed its appeal and told the state BJP that it cannot go ahead with the rath yatra till it satisfies the Bengal government’s apprehensions on law and order. Arguing for the Bengal government, Abhishek Manu Singhvi cited an intel report suggesting the rath yatra, which is proposed to go through many 'sensitive' areas in the state, can cause a riot.

The apex court said that the Bengal government's apprehension is not baseless, even though senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi argued that the yatra is anything but communal. This was said in reference to Singhvi telling the bench that each district police, in their report, expressed fear of communal tension if the yatra was to be given a go ahead.

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This legal battle has been going on since December 2018. After failing to obtain police permission, the state BJP approached the single bench of Calcutta high court that dismissed its plea which was later appealed in the division bench that gave a favourable verdict to the saffron party, but with certain riders. The very next day, the outgoing chief justice - hours before his retirement - quashed that order and sent it back to the single bench.  Following this, the state BJP approached the apex court.

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The BJP was scheduled to kick-start its rath yatras from December 7 in presence of BJP president Amit Shah. The BJP's ‘save democracy’ rath yatra, in fact, three of them, cutting across all the 42 Lok Sabha constituencies of Bengal is currently in limbo. Each rath yatra would culminate into a massive rally to be addressed by party president Amit Shah. There was a mega rally planned, as the penultimate rally was scheduled to be addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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But for now, the state BJP’s rath yatra, which the party planned to use as a warm-up in Bengal before the 2019 general election, is back to square one.