Mamata takes anti-CAA protest to northern Bengal

Published : January 03, 2020 18:08 IST

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee addressing a rally against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act in Siliguri on January 3. Photo: PTI

After launching a fierce opposition to the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the National Register of Citizens in south Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has now taken her protest to northern Bengal, a region where her party was routed in the Lok Sabha election of April-May 2019.

Addressing a large gathering after leading a protest march in Siliguri on January 3, Mamata launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and warned the people against falling into the “lies and traps laid by the BJP”.

Reacting to Modi’s recent comment that those protesting against the CAA should carry out agitations against Pakistan’s oppression of its minorities, Mamata said, “Have you become the Ambassador of Pakistan that in every way and every day you are glorifying Pakistan? Talk of Hindustan, do not talk of Pakistan.”

She also laid down a fresh programme for protest, which includes a programme in the Darjeeling Hills on January 22. She exhorted all political parties, non-governmental organisations and student bodies to come out in protest. “If you do not come out in protest, then these people will destroy Hindustan, will destroy azadi (freedom). Protecting azadi is our religion, our tradition…. This fight that we have launched today, think of it as our second fight for azadi,” she said.

Reacting to Mamata’s stand on the CAA the same day, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said at a public meeting in Jodhpur, “I want to ask Mamata didi, what harm have the Bengali-speaking Hindus done to you? Why are you against granting them citizenship? …I want to assure my brothers and sisters who are refugees that you will be given citizenship with respect and you need not be scared of Mamata didi.

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