New Delhi: The West Bengal BJP suffered a setback after the Supreme Court rejected its petition challenging Mamata Banerjee-led TMC government over the ban on the use of loudspeakers in residential areas and educational institutions. The BJP had termed it as an attempt to muzzle its voice.
Challenging the validity of a February 2013 order issued by the Mamata government banning loudspeakers in residential areas or near educational institutions, the BJP had said it violates the party’s right to garner public support and is an infringement on the right to free speech.
After the SC directive the government only permitted political meetings and rallies but according to the BJP, such notification banning loudspeakers comes with the intent that the BJP doesn’t hold any rallies or meetings before the upcoming Lok Sabha elections this year.
In the petition, the saffron party had said it has passed with an ulterior motive and goes on to say that it has been designed to create an impediment in the activity of BJP, a political party which has a significant presence in the state for building up public support for the ensuing election.
BJP also said that checking noise pollution especially at the time when exams are to be held in the state appears to be within legitimate purpose however a blanket ban on the use of microphones near residential areas or educational institutions virtually results in a complete ban.
The BJP is engaged in a bitter fight against the TMC in the state since the 2014 Lok Sabha elections when the saffron party’s vote share increased nearly three times.