West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will hold a meeting with senior leaders of the Trinamool Congress on December 20. They will hold discussions on issues such as the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB). This assumes significance as the CAB was passed by Rajya Sabha on Wednesday two days after the Lok Sabha gave its nod. Banerjee and her party TMC have been huge critics of both the NRC and CAB.
West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC Chief Mamata Banerjee to hold a meeting with her party leaders on 20th December over #CitizenshipAmendmentBill2019 and National Register of Citizens (NRC). (file pic) pic.twitter.com/4hjCqCFBeG— ANI (@ANI) December 12, 2019
In a business conclave on Wednesday, Banerjee took a veiled dig at the CAB. Maintaining that “unity in diversity” was the soul of West Bengal, she asserted that her administration did not divide the society on the basis of caste, creed, and religion. Moreover, she noted that the people of the state were “one family”.
She remarked, "Unity in diversity is the soul of the state and we don't divide people on the basis of caste, creed, and religion. We believe in staying together. We are one family and no one staying here can say that he is deprived.”
Speaking during the debate on CAB in the Lok Sabha on Monday, Banerjee's nephew and TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee claimed that the Bill was against Swami Vivekananda's idea of India. He opined that it would be disastrous to ignore the advice of Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. Furthermore, he questioned why other countries such as Myanmar and Sri Lanka were not brought within the ambit of CAB.
Abhishek Banerjee said, "Swami Vivekananda would be shell shocked if was here seeing this bill as it is against his idea of India. BJP's idea of India is divisive. It will be disastrous if we ignore the words of Mahatma Gandhi and not heed the advice of Sardar Patel." He added, "If persecution and genuine concern is a real criterion, then anyone irrespective of religion should be considered for citizenship. How can citizenship be determined on the basis of religion here? If you are considerate towards the majority community here, then why only three countries? There are more countries- Sri Lanka, Myanmar. Myanmar was a part of British India."