Mamata announces statewide protests against citizenship law
Reiterating that her government would not allow any NRC exercise or implementation of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) in West Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday announced statewide protests from Monday, saying that she will lead a rally from the base of B.R. Ambedkar's statue here.
"We told them (BJP government at the Centre) not to play with fire. They say they will forcibly implement CAA and NRC (National Register of Citizens). I would like to state categorically again that NRC and CAA won't be implemented in West Bengal.
"You can pass a law, but it is up to the state government to implement it. How can they enforce it? In West Bengal, our government won't do it. No NRC, no CAA," Banerjee told newspersons in Digha in Midnapore district.
The Trinamool Congress supremo said that she would cancel her proposed meeting in Delhi next week to be with the "people of the state" given the present situation.
"I was supposed to go to Delhi on December 17 and attend a meeting on 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi. But in the present situation, it won't be right for me to leave my state.
"Bangladesh is a nation which has a border with us. They are very sad and shocked. Assam is also a state on our borders. It is on the boil. Tripura is also disturbed. So I have to cancel my Delhi trip because of the situation, i have to be with the people," she said.
Banerjee said that on Monday, she will lead a Trinamool Congress rally from B.R. Ambedkar's statue in central Kolkata to the Jorasanko Thakurbari in north Kolkata, where Rabindranath Tagore was born.
"We will assemble at 1 p.m. They are throwing away the Constitution that was drafted by Ambedkar and are trying to divide the people. Tagore had led peaceful protests by tying rakhi on the wrists of people when the British partitioned Bengal in 1905," she said.
On Tuesday, Trinamool would bring out another procession from Jadavpur in south Kolkata to the base of Mahatma Gandhi's statue.
"Our leaders and workers in Kolkata and the adjacent districts would take part in the two rallies," Banerjee said.
On Sunday, Trinamool workers would take out rallies in all district headquarters involving people from all communities, castes and creed with the slogan "No NRC, No CAA." A similar rally would be taken out in all blocks on Monday.
Banerjee appealed to all political parties "except the BJP", civil society members, students and youths to take part in the protests.IANS