New Delhi: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has taken out a mega rally with tens of thousands of supporters and party workers to oppose the Centre’s decision amid escalating protests over the contentious amendment to Citizenship Act, along with the proposal for implementation of NRC across the country.
Speaking at the rally, CM Banerjee asserted, “If you want to dismiss my government, you can but I will never allow Citizenship Act and NRC in Bengal. Till the day the Centre rolls back Citizenship Amendment Act and National Register of Citizens (NRC), we will continue to protest.”
“They will have to implement CAB and NRC in Bengal over my dead body. When we raised our voice against NRC, we were alone. Now, other chief ministers are speaking out,” Banerjee added.
“Few people took money from BJP and indulged in vandalism and arson,” she alleged.
Hitting out at the ruling government for an alleged dictatorial stature, Banerjee furthered, “Only BJP will remain here and everyone else will be made to leave-it’s their politics. It’ll never happen. India is everyone’s. Agar sabka sath nahi rahega toh sabka vikas kaise hoga (If there is no unity in the nation, how will we head towards development)? Who is the Citizenship Act for? We’re all citizens. Didn’t you cast vote? Don’t you live here?”
Banerjee is expected to hold three rallies in three different locations, the first of which has started from the statue of Babasaheb Ambedkar on Red Road in heart of the city, and it is set to culminate at Jorasakho Thakur Bari, the residence of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore in north Kolkata, around 4 km away.
While it is supposed to be a peaceful march, clashes are expected to follow the march as thousands walk behind the West Bengal CM.
“We will never allow NRC and CAA in Bengal,” Banerjee said as she read out an ‘oath’ for her party workers.
Earlier today, the protest march brought a simmering tension between the TMC supremo and West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar. Following CM Banerjee’s announcement on the anti-citizenship act rally, the West Bengal Governor in a tweet said that he was “extremely anguished” at the CM’s decision to spearhead a rally.
“I am extremely anguished that CM and Ministers are to spearhead rally against CAA, law of the land. This is unconstitutional. I call upon CM to desist from this unconstitutional and inflammatory act at this juncture and devote to retrieve the grim situation,” read the tweet.
Governor Dhankar stated that the Banerjee should devote her attention to restoring normalcy in the state, instead of joining the agitation after violent protests have been raging over the past three days.