Chief minister Mamata Banerjee today iterated her stand on CAB and NRC and said she would not allow its implementation in the state “under any circumstances”. She announced a series of protest programmes against the passage of Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) across the state and once again assured that she won’t allow implementation of the ‘unconstitutional and divisive’ Bill in the state ‘under any circumstances’.
Addressing a Press meet in Digha, Miss Banerjee said “The BJP can’t bulldoze the states to implement the law. Announcing a series of protest programmes across the state, the CM also said that she has cancelled her visit to Delhi to attend a meeting on the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi. “Don’t play with fire,” she cautioned the Central government, “then you will have to bear the burnt. Do not play with the sentiments of the states. Assam is burning. People should protest. We are not scared of going to jail,” she said at the Press Conference.
Meanwhile, the CM held an emergency meeting at Nabanna today to take stock of the ongoing incidents of protests and road blocks over NRC and CAB immediately after returning from Digha. She with chief secretary, home secretary, director general of police, ADG (law and order) and Kolkata Police commissioner.
“Miss Banerjee asked police to ensure the law and order and see to it that everything is under control. Efforts should be taken so that incidents are not blown out of proportion. There has not been any incidents of violence in Kolkata. The CM has categorically asked police to be on guard,” said a Nabanna source. Meanwhile, governor Jagdeep Dhankhar said that CAB is now a law.
“Respect the law of the land. Holding a constitutional post I appeal to all to respect the law of the land,” he added. Expressing solidarity with the people of Assam and the Northeast, where violent protests have been raging over the issue for the past few days, the CM blamed the BJP government at the Centre for the growing tension and the deteriorating law and order situation in the region. It is the state government who implements a law. By passing Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Parliament and turning it into law, Centre can’t force us to abide by it. Prime Minister of Japan is thinking of cancelling his visit to India. It is a matter of shame for the country. Since 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War, we have had a good relation with them. Whenever they come to our country, the first thing they always do is praise the Indian government and the people. And we never call Sheikh Hasina communal. She is Bangabandhu’s daughter. We all love her”, she said.
“In a democracy, even if you have majority in terms of numbers in Parliament, it doesn’t mean you can impose your views. The essence of democracy lies in building consensus, taking everybody along,” she asserted. Iterating that her fight against the CAB was the “second war of independence”, Miss Banerjee said she would hit the streets to seek its revocation. The CM also stressed that her government would not cooperate with the Centre for enacting the “divisive and draconian” law.
“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,” she asserted. Miss Banerjee said that her party will organise a protest rally from the statue to B R Ambedkar to Jorasanko Thakurbari on Monday to protest against CAB. A similar protest will be organised on Tuesday in South Kolkata, she said, urging people from political parties (other than the BJP) to join the rally. “For the three consecutive days from Monday, we will organise protest rally under democratic way. I will announce the programme for Wednesday later. On Sunday, our party will organise protest rallies in the districts”, she said.
The CM urged people not to take law in their hands while protesting against CAB as people in various places in the districts had started conducting protests, unleashing terror and violence. “In these six years, this Centre has done nothing fruitful for the farmers. Industries are shutting down, unemployment is rising but they are making small issues that favour their party,” she said.