Amid protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act, BJP national working president JP Nadda on Monday kicked off a massive rally in West Bengal’s Kolkata in support of the law.
Nadda was accompanied by senior BJP leaders, including West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh and national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya.
The pro-CAA rally, which commenced from Hind Cinema-CR Avenue, will culminate at Shyambazar. It is seen as damage-control exercise by the BJP as West Bengal has been a centre of protests against the law.
Speaking to news agency ANI, Nadda said that the West Bengal Chief Minister was just doing “vote-bank politics by opposing the Act”. “She should see the huge support for the Act and understand that people have rejected vote-bank politics,” he added.
Earlier on Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a rally in Delhi had said that the law is about giving rights to persecuted minorities from neighbouring countries and does not snatch anybody’s rights, as he made an appeal for peace.
The issue of CAA has been a major flashpoint in Bengal politics, with Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee herself opposing it vehemently and declaring that it will not be implemented in the state.
Last week, Mamata had challenged the ruling BJP at the Centre asking it to allow the intervention of impartial organization like United Nations or Human Rights Commission into CAA and NRC.
The state had witnessed violent protests and arson against the CAA and the proposed nationwide implementation of National Register of Citizens (NRC) during December 13-17.
Bengal has also witnessed violence during the stir with trains being set on fire and public property vandalised.
The passing of the controversial Citizenship Bill has triggered countrywide protests and since it becoming a law, citizens specially students have taken to the streets in protest against the legislation.
The amended law seeks to provide citizenship to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who have faced religious persecution in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan and have arrived in India on or before December 31, 2014.