Home Minister Amit Shah will address a rally at Shahid Minar Ground in Kolkata on Sunday, as Left parties and Muslim organisations plan to hold protests.
According to BJP, over one lakh party workers will attend Shah’s ‘Abhinandan’ rally during which he will speak on the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
Speaking to The Sunday Express, BJP state secretary Sayantan Basu said, “Over one lakh people will attend the rally tomorrow. Our workers from the districts will come to Kolkata to hear Amit Shah-ji speak. CAA is a great Act brought in by Modi ji and Amit Shah ji. Tomorrow, the people of Bengal will thank them for that. They have understood the pain of Bengali refugees, who were forced out of Bangladesh. The Act not only recognised their plight, but also gave them respect in the country.”
“The Left and others are against the Bengali refugees, and that is why they are protesting,” Basu added.
Meanwhile, at the ground finishing touches were given to the stage where Shah along with state BJP leaders will be present. From Saturday night, party workers from the districts will pour into the city for whom the BJP has made arrangements. On Sunday morning, the party workers will take out rallies from different points of the city as well as Howrah station and converge at the venue.
According to state BJP leaders, the party initially had a hard time with Bengal turning out to be one of the major focal points for anti-CAA protests. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, too, had hit the streets for days in protest against CAA, National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR).
“However, we then started a door-to-door campaign to clear misinformation on the Act. We also reached out to Bengali refugee colonies and Matua community over the issue and got a very good response. Shah’s rally will further our case and put forward a clear view point. This is crucial since we have municipal polls just round the corner and Assembly polls next year,” said a senior BJP leader.
Meanwhile, Left and several other organisations, including Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, have planned to hold protests in Kolkata on Sunday. They have planned to show Shah black flags and raise ‘Go Back’ slogans. Protests are planned not only near the venue, but also along the route that Shah will take from the airport. The protest will not only be held against CAA, but also to highlight the failure of police during the recent violence in Delhi.
BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha said, “Everyone has the right to protest. CPM and Congress can also protest. But if they try to disrupt our rally, then we know how to tackle them.”
State Congress president Somen Mitra said, “This is a time when examinations are on. No political parties are allowed to hold rallies. But TMC is giving special treatment to BJP.”
CPI(M) legislative leader Sujan Chakraborty said, “It is clear who is with whom. Trinamool Congress is allowing BJP to hold a rally and even grow in Bengal. How can they get permission from police to use loudspeakers?”
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines