Kolkata: The Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal on Wednesday banned firebrand Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Praveen Togadia from entering the state.

A government release issued by the state’s home department said the ban has been enforced “to ensure the social and secular fabric of the state”. “He will be arrested if he enters West Bengal,” the statement said.

West Bengal is the third state to ban the entry of the controversial international working president of the VHP, one of the right-wing organisations affiliated to the BJP. Karnataka and Assam had banned his entry earlier this year.

The BJP has been preparing aggressively for the West Bengal elections, due next year, as it pitches itself as the main challenger to the ruling Trinamool Congress.