Ready to sit with PM but revoke CAA and NRC first, says Mamata
Kolkata: Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo Mamata Banerjee said she was ready to sit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi for any discussion provided the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) are withdrawn.
Banerjee was addressing a gathering at Gandhi statue on Mayo Road on Tuesday where 50 painters had assembled to protest against CAA, NRC and National Population Register (NPR).
"It is good that the prime minister is ready for talks but the Citizenship Amendment Act must be revoked first. We are ready for talks but first withdraw this Citizenship Amendment Act," Banerjee said.
The exhibition organised by Suvaprasanna was a protest programme held against CAA through paintings. Renowned painters and students of different art colleges took part in the exhibition. Banerjee said a place will be allotted to display the work of art. Jogen Chowdhury, Trinamool Congress MPs Shantanu Sen, and Dola Sen were also present at the exhibition.
Banerjee said: "BJP leaders often talk about a discussion with the opposition parties, but do they believe in any dialogue? When Article 370 was abolished in Kashmir no discussion with the opposition parties had been held. BJP does not believe in democracy." She reiterated that through CAA, NRC and NPR the BJP was trying to divide the country and Indian society.
Calling BJP the brand ambassador of Pakistan, Banerjee said that the party should concentrate on the burning issues which India is facing now.
"Every time there is a problem in India, BJP talks about Pakistan. We are Indians and we want our problems to be solved," she said. The TMC supremo added that India has always believed in the principle of unity in diversity. "United we stand and divided we fall. Sri Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda have spoken about the synthesis of religions. Rabindranath and Nazrul have written poems on religious harmony. This is Bengal's culture," she added.
She said the venue near Gandhi statue was selected as, "Gandhiji sacrificed his life to build united India. We believe in united India and united Bengal. The painters are protesting silently. People from the cultural world and students have also launched movements demanding the withdrawal of CAA and NRC."
Thanking Suvaprasanna she said: "All the great painters have assembled here along with their juniors. I am not a professional painter. But I love painting as it makes me happy." Banerjee also took part in the show and painted a figure. She said: "All are welcome to join our movement against CAA and NRC. People from all walks of life should come out to resist the move of the BJP to divide the country."
Bengal Assembly had on Monday passed a resolution against the CAA to become the fourth state after Kerala, Punjab, and Rajasthan, to do so. The state Assembly had on September 6, 2019, passed a resolution against the NRC.
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