Kolkata: Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee on Monday hit the streets to protest against Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and implementation of National Register for Citizens (NRC) in Bengal.
Garlanding the statue of BR Ambedkar at Central Kolkata at the start of the protest march, Banerjee said that BJP cadres in disguise are spreading unnecessary tension and violence in the state.
“Bengal is the perfect example of communal peace and brotherhood and BJP is purposely trying to create communal tension in the state. In Bengal, I will not allow implementation of NRC. And the government will not tolerate any sort of violence or unlawful act. No one will be ousted from the state as the ruling TMC government believes in coexistence of all religions, caste and creed,” stated Banerjee.
Reading out an oath to thousands who had gathered in the rally, Banerjee urged people from all community to stay united and protest against the CAA and NRC in a peaceful way.
Further attacking Narendra Modi led BJP government, TMC supremo said that the BJP’s politics to shun everyone and to rule the country alone.
“The BJP wants to throw everyone out. Their politics is that they will only stay in India. Their motto they claim is Saab Ka Saath, Saab Ka Vikaas, but if the citizens are not allowed to stay in the country for whom will they work for,” claimed Banerjee.
At the beginning of the rally at Red road, Banerjee instructed her partymen to spread across the rally to ensure peace and safety of everyone.
“BJP has the tendency to disrupt peace. So my party cadres will spread across the protest walk to ensure that no BJP cadres can disrupt our protest march. Together we will make and stay in peaceful Bengal,” mentioned Banerjee.
For three consecutive days, Banerjee, who has been at the forefront in opposing the NRC and the citizenship law, will conduct mega rallies crisscrossing the city and neighbouring Howrah to protest against the law.
Echoing Mamata Banerjee, Jamanuddin Farroqi said that the BJP is intentionally conducting violence in the state to malign people from the minority community.
“Since last Friday we have seen violent protests and vandalism of public properties. The protest had also left several common people severely injured. Everyone is seeing that those who had conducted the violent protest are from minority community. The saffron camp is purposely doing this just to malign us and show reasons to oust us from the country,” said Farroqi.
Subhashini Talukdar, a homemaker who joined the protest march from MG Road said that she voluntarily joined the protest just to march her angst against the central government’s recent policies.
“The freedom fighters have won Independence from the British. Thousand of them had even lost their lives just to free our motherland. Most of the freedom fighters are from Bengal. Another war of Independence is about to start and this too will be begin from Bengal. It is very unfortunate that this time we will have to fight against Indians who are ready to sell the country to foreign hands,” said Talukdar.
Banerjee also mentioned that so far she was protesting against NRC alone but now chief minister of other states are also opposing the implementation of NRC.
“Once I was alone. But now Delhi’s chief minister said that he won’t be allowing implementation of NRC. Chief Minister’s of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Chhatisgarh, Punjab and Kerala are also in my favour and have strictly opposed implementation of NRC in their states,” reiterated Banerjee.
The first day of the rally culminated at Jorasankho, the house of Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore. According to political observers, the chief minister had chosen the starting and the end point of the rally very wisely just to give a message of ‘saving constitution’ and ‘communal peace’.
“BR Ambedkar is said to be the father of the constitution. The first day of the rally started from his statue. Tagore is said to be the epitome of communal peace. The rally culminated near his residence. Through the starting and ending point Banerjee wanted to tell everyone that the ruling Trinamool Congress believes in protecting and abiding the constitution and also in communal peace and brotherhood,” said an observer.
Meanwhile, Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar alleged that the rallies conducted by the chief minister are ‘unconstitutional and inflammatory act’. Dhakhar has also urged the chief minister to devote her time to retrieve the grim situation.