New Delhi: Days after challenging Prime Minister Narendra Modi to for a UN-monitored referendum over the Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 and the National Register of Citizens, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday urged him to withdraw the two legislations in the interest of the nation.
“It is not about victory or defeat, it is a matter of country’s interests; withdraw CAA and NRC,” the West Bengal CM said in her appeal to PM Modi.
Expressing resentment over the implementation the CAA across the country, the chief minister had on Thursday asked the Centre to go for a UN-monitored referendum over the controversial legislation and stated that she will quit if it fails such a ‘mass vote’.
Addressing a rally in Kolkata, Banerjee had alleged that the BJP is trying to brand the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) as a fight between Hindus and Muslims.
“Just because the BJP has got the majority it does not mean that they can do whatever they want. If BJP has guts, it should go for a United Nations-monitored referendum on Citizenship Amendment Act and the NRC. Let an impartial organisation like the UN or the Human Rights Commission conduct it,” she said.
However, her statement did not go down well with many union ministers. Union Minister Prakash Javadekar and Smriti Irani slammed the West Bengal Cm for the UN-referendum remark on the CAA.
Seeking Mamata’s apology, Javadekar on Friday called her remark an ‘insult to 130 crore’ Indian citizens. “I am surprised with Banerjee’s referendum demand. It is shocking. Bill is approved by both the Houses after the proper debate. Her statement is very unfortunate,” Javadekar was quoted as saying by IANS.
Earlier in the day, Union Minister Smriti Irani also slammed the Bengal CM and said her remark is an insult to the Parliament. While addressing an event in Kolkata, Irani stated that the Chief Minister’s remark over CAA is an insult to the Indian Parliament and said that she should withdraw her statement.
She also urged the state governments to take strict action against people who are resorting to violence during the anti-CAA protests.