Mamata gives clarion call for mass protests
Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday reiterated that she will not allow the implementation of the recently amended Citizenship Act, in Bengal under any circumstances. Giving a call for organising a mass movement against CAB and NRC, Banerjee announced that she will herself hit the streets and take part in two mega rallies on Monday and Tuesday.
The two rallies in which the Trinamool Congress supremo will take part will start from the B R Ambedkar statue on Red Road and end at Jorasanko Thakurbari on Monday, and from Jadavpur 8B bus stand to Jadu Babur Bazar in Bhowanipore on Tuesday.
Another rally is scheduled on Wednesday from Howrah Maidan to Dorina crossing at Esplanade, in which Banerjee is also likely to take part. The TMC will hold protest rallies in all blocks on Wednesday as well.
"So what if the CAB has been passed in the Parliament? The implementation is on the hands of the state government. Our Bengal government will not implement Citizenship Act here," Banerjee said in a press conference at Digha in East Midnapore. She added that the BJP cannot bully the states into implementing the Citizenship Act, which was assented to by the President on Friday.
"This is the time when I need to be with the people, so I am cancelling my Delhi trip scheduled on December 17," she added. Banerjee was also supposed to visit the capital to attend a meeting on the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. "The Citizenship Act will divide India. As long as we are in power, not a single person in the state will have to leave the country," the Trinamool supremo said.
According to Banerjee, the situation in the country has turned so volatile after the amended Citizenship Act that the Prime Minister of Japan and the Bangladesh Foreign Minister have cancelled their trips to India.
She said it would be a "blot" on the country's reputation if they scrap the plan amid widespread protest in the North East. Banerjee also expressed her concern over the situation in the North East but asserted her intention to hold a peaceful protest.
"We tried our best to bell the cat and have warned the Centre not to play with fire by implementing NRC and Citizenship Act. Each of the states has a sentiment of its own. But they did not pay any heed," she claimed.
The Trinamool supremo also hit out at Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, who has not yet signed the SC/ST Bill that was to be discussed in the just-concluded session at the state Assembly.
"He has wanted to know how the state will procure funds for the SC/ST commission. This is the state government's concern and not anyone else's," she added.