West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee leads the anti-CAA protests in Kolkata. | File Photo: Alok Nath Dey
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Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Monday urged all non-BJP chief ministers to form a front and oppose the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.

“When we started protests against NRC (National Register of Citizens), we were alone then. But now some chief ministers are speaking out. We request them to oppose the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, “ said Mamata Banerjee, addressing a massive gathering after a mega rally in Kolkata.

The Trinamool Congress chief, who led the rally from the statue of Babasaheb Ambedkar on Red Road in central Kolkata to Jorasanko Thakur Bari, the residence of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore in north Kolkata, vowed not to implement the amended Citizenship Act and the NRC in Bengal and dared the Centre to dismiss her government.

“As long as I am alive, I will never implement the citizenship law or NRC in the state. You can very well dismiss my government or put me behind bars but I will never implement this black law. I will continue to protest democratically till this law is scrapped,” she said, hitting out at the BJP.

Mamata Banerjee, who has been at the forefront in opposing the NRC and the citizenship law, will lead mega rallies crisscrossing the city and neighbouring Howrah in protest against the law for three consecutive days, beginning with Monday’s Red Road-Jorasanko rally.

The chief minister, who gave a brief speech before starting the rally, called it a “people’s movement in a peaceful manner within the ambit of law”. She even administered a pledge to her supporters asking them to maintain peace.

“Harmony of all religions is our principle in life. We will not allow NRC and CAA in Bengal,” she said, adding that “the Centre will have to implement the CAA and NRC over my dead body”.


Also read: Bengal anti-citizenship law protest turns violent, Trinamool fears it’ll play into BJP hands


‘BJP plants behind violence in West Bengal’

Even as violent protests, road and railway blockades in different districts of Bengal continued for the fourth consecutive day, Banerjee said it was the handiwork of those “paid by the BJP” and made a veiled reference to Asaduddin Owaisi-led AIMIM, saying a ‘Muslim party’ was “acting as friends” of the Muslim community and pushing them to vandalism and arson.

“Do not fall prey to any outside forces who are posing as your friends. They are not your friend, but plants by the BJP. They are sold to them,” Banerjee said. “Do not indulge in violence. Do not set trains and buses on fire. Protest peacefully. We are with you.”

Banerjee added that the Modi government has cancelled all long-distance trains to Bengal because a few trains were burnt. “Do not block roads and rail tracks. These acts will help them,” she added.

The chief minister also condemned the police action on students at Jamia Millia Islamia in Delhi and said it should not have happened.

Slamming the BJP, Mamata Banerjee said the party should take care of the states it rules in Northeast before “lecturing others” on law and order.

Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar has dubbed the rallies as “unconstitutional and inflammatory act” and urged the chief minister to devote time to “retrieve the grim situation”.

With PTI inputs


Also read: West Bengal Muslims, political parties to fight citizenship bill — on streets & in courts


 

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Employing an illegal immigrant should be made a punishable offence with heavy fines. Many illegal people would leave anyway then.

  2. In Every Democracy, people need to know, who else is voting. Why NRC is so scary. DO the registry, people without proofs, given them Aadhar Cards and other citizenship proofs – BUT DO IT ONCE ONLY (within a short period of time complete it) . After that, you are either a citizen – or illegal immigrant.

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