West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee took her fight against the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens to the Darjeeling hills on Wednesday. Addressing a rally after leading a mega 4-km-long protest march through the serpentine roads of this Himalayan town, Banerjee said the Centre is trying to push CAA only in non-BJP ruled states. She rallied for an anti-CAA sentiment in the Gorkha heartland.
“Every day the union home minister (Amit Shah) is giving new sermons. Yesterday, he said that we (opposition parties) are misleading the people. I would like to ask him to clarify whether a person will be declared foreigner and then allowed to apply for citizenship under the CAA,” Banerjee said, addressing the rally in Hindi.
Thousands of people hit the streets today in #Darjeeling to participate in a mega protest march against unconstitutional #CAA and #NRC. @mamataofficial led the march.— All India Trinamool Congress (@AITCofficial) January 22, 2020
#NoNRCNoCAA #CAAProtests pic.twitter.com/8Y6r5yQu5m
Rallying support from the Gorkha community, Mamata Banerjee said that people here are concerned over the new laws but she won't allow any harm to them. "We all are citizens of this country. I am proud of my Gorkha brothers and sisters who have fought for this country. I want to assure everyone that there is nothing to fear. People here are concerned whether, after CAA, NRC and NPR, their citizenship will remain or not? We will allow no harm to any Gorkha."
“Due to NRC in Assam, lakhs of Gorkhas have been rendered homeless. We will not allow that to happen in Darjeeling as long as I am here,” she told the rally in Chowkbazar area.
Accussing the Centre of spreading lies on the issue of CAA, NRC, NPR, the Trinamool Congress supremo proclaimed that none of them will be implemented in West Bengal. Any attempt to force any citizen out of state, Banerjee said, would require the BJP "to throw her out first". She claimed all states except West Bengal have attended the meeting on the National Population Register (NPR) in New Delhi due to fear of BJP-led Union government.
Mamata Banerjee's fresh charge on the issue comes a day after Amit Shah vowed to not roll back CAA despite nationwide protests and accussed opposition parties of “misleading” people. He said, "Modiji got CAA, now Rahul (Gandhi) and company, Mamata (Banerjee), Akhilesh (Yadav), sister Mayawati, the entire brigade is doing 'kau kau kau' against CAA." Shah challeged these leaders for a public debate on the issue.
Banerjee has been at the forefront of anti-CAA agitations and has led ten protest marches and addressed six rallies in various parts of the state since the issue snowballed into a major political firestorm last December.
(With PTI inputs) (Image credit: Twitter/@Santanu83034089)