Accusing West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee of “scaring” refugees and minorities over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said the state government can’t stop the BJP-led Central government from granting citizenship to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian refugees in the country.
Addressing a rally at Shahid Minar Ground in the city, Shah said, “Modiji brought in CAA, Mamata didi opposed it. In Bengal, riots were carried out, trains were burned… Refugees are being scared that you will have to show documents, that your right to live here will be snatched, this will happen to you, that will… that you will have to go to the police station, go to the patwari. I am telling you, don’t go anywhere. Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, Christian, all those who have come here, the BJP’s Central govt will give them all citizenship. Mamata didi can’t stop us.”
He also said, “Earlier nothing was done to grant citizenship to refugees. When Mamata Banerjee was in the Opposition, she had herself taken up this issue, and had stalled Parliament. When she came to power, she started the politics of vote-bank and appeasement. And when Modiji brought CAA, Congress, Communists, Mamata and others started opposing it.”
Reassuring minorities that their citizenship won’t be “taken away”, Shah said, “Is desh main woh minority ko darate ke minority ki nagarikta chali jayegi. Musalman bhaiyon-behno ki nagarikta chali jayegi (The Opposition scares the minority community that they will lose their citizenship, that Muslims will lose their citizenship). But I am here to assure all the minority brothers and sisters of Bengal that you will not lose your citizenship under CAA. CAA is a law to give citizenship, not to take away citizenship.”
At the rally, Shah virtually kick-started the BJP’s campaign for the 2021 Assembly polls in the state, asserting that the party will win the state with two-thirds majority. He also launched a state-wide campaign, ‘Ar Noi Annay (No More Injustice)’, which, he said, would be against atrocities on the poor, against corruption, against the syndicate, against appeasement politics, against infiltrators and to improve the law and order situation. “Mamata didi goes to every village and asks ‘Didi Ke Bolo (Talk to Didi)’ and people wonder what to tell her. Today I have come here to tell you, don’t sit quiet. Whenever she asks ‘Didi Ke Bolo,’ you say, ‘Aar Noi Anyay’… we will not tolerate Trinamool’s injustice anymore.”
Earlier, BJP workers on their way to the Shahid Minar rally were heard shouting slogans of “Goli maro…”
In an apparent reference to Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee, Shah said no shahzada (prince) would become Chief Minister when the BJP comes to power in the state. “Only a son of the soil will become the next chief minister of this state,” he said.
Claiming that the BJP will come to power after the 2021 Assembly elections and turn the state into “Sonar Bangla (Golden Bengal)”, Shah said, “Before the Lok Sabha polls, Mamata didi used to say our candidates will lose their deposits. But for the first time we won 18 of the 42 seats in the state… In the coming Assembly polls also, the BJP will get an absolute majority, a two-thirds majority and form the government… Give BJP five years and we will make the state ‘Sonar Bangla’,” he said.
After the rally, Shah visited Kalighat and later held a meeting with the state BJP leadership. Earlier in the day, Shah inaugurated the National Security Guard’s (NSG) 29 Special Composite Group complex in the Rajarhat area outside Kolkata.
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