In his first visit to West Bengal since the release of Assam’s draft National Register of Citizens (NRC) on July 30, BJP president Amit Shah Saturday targeted the Trinamool Congress and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for “protecting” illegal immigrants. He added that the party should clarify its stance on the issue.
“Why is Mamata Banerjee protecting Bangladeshi infiltrators?” Shah questioned, adding that illegal infiltration should be stopped in order for West Bengal to develop. “You can oppose us as much as you want, but we will not stall the process of NRC. Neither Mamata or Congress chief Rahul Gandhi can stop the BJP from doing it.”
Shah accused the Chief Minister of making sure the BJP’s rally today was blacked out on all Bangla TV news channels. “Even if you try to suppress our voices, we will go to every district of Bengal and throw TMC out,” he added.
BJP chief Amit Shah is addressing a rally in Kolkata today. This is his first visit to West Bengal since Assam's draft NRC was released. Read in Bengali.
Shah concludes speech
Amit Shah has concluded his speech.
Corruption is flourishing in the state under TMC, says Shah
For us, the nation comes first. If you want to see a developed Bengal, we have to stop illegal infiltrators, says Shah. He also charges TMC with corruption, saying corruption is flourishing in the state since the party came to power.
For us, country comes ahead of vote bank, says Shah
For the BJP, the country comes first, ahead of the vote bank. You can oppose us as much as you want, but we will not stall the process of NRC, says Shah.
What is their stance on NRC? This is Congress vote-bank politics: Shah
Why is Mamata Banerjee protecting Bangladeshi infiltrators? She, along with Rahul Gandhi, are not clarifying their stance on the issue, but protesting it. This is because of Congress' vote-bank politics, says Shah. He is speaking in Kolkata. This is his first visit to the state since the NRC was released on July 30.
Mamata, Rahul can't stop us from carrying out NRC, says Shah
Amit Shah adds that the BJP will make sure the NRC is carried out peacefully in Assam. He adds that neither West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee or Congress chief Rahul Gandhi can stop the BJP from doing it.
'Shouldn't Bangladeshi immigrants be thrown out?'
Amit Shah says West Bengal is going to witness a change. He adds that all Mamata Banerjee has done is object against the NRC, but it is a process to throw illegal immigrants out. "Shouldn't Bangladeshi immigrants be thrown out?" Shah asks the crowd.
Mamata has made sure out rally is not broadcast, says Shah
Mamata Banerjee made sure our rally today is blocked; all Bangla TV news channels have been blacked out the rally, says Amit Shah. "We are not against West Bengal, but we are definitely against Mamata Banerjee. I am here to protest against the TMC. Even if you try to suppress our voices, we will go to every district of Bengal and throw TMC out," he adds.
Shah targets TMC, says BJP will uproot party in state
Today's rally is a glimpse of what is to come, the fact that Bengal is going to change. BJP is going to uproot the Trinamool Congress in the state.
Amit Shah begins speaking
BJP chief Amit Shah is addressing the people.
Poonam Mahajan says TMC has done nothing for the people
Poonam Mahajan is addressing the crowd. She says the Trinamool Congress has not done anything for the people of the state. She accused Mamata Banerjee of doing a U-turn on the issue of the issue of infiltration. She had earlier tweeted, 'The tides are set to turn towards good governance in Bengal as Mayo Road is all decked up with a huge gathering of BJYM karyakartas for 'Cholo Kolkata' rally with Hon. BJP President Shri Amit Shah.'
Leaders present at the rally right now include BJP national president Amit Shah, BJP general secretaries Kailash Vijayvargiya and Muralidhar Rao, BJP state president Dilip Ghosh and BJYM president Poonam Mahajan among others.
BJP West Bengal chief Dilip Ghosh speaks
Dilip Ghosh, the president of BJP's West Bengal unit, is addressing the crowd right now. He says the youth are leaving Bengal to find employment in other states.
Amit Shah tweets minutes before address
Amit Shah tweets minutes before his address, "Have reached Kolkata where I will be addressing lakhs of young men and women who have come from all parts of West Bengal to attend the "Yuva Swabhiman Samavesh", an awakening that will uproot the undemocratic and totalitarian TMC government in the state. #BJPForSonarBangla."
Amit Shah reaches venue, to address rally shortly
Amit Shah has reached the venue of the rally. He will address the people shortly. Stay tuned!
Pooman Mahajan accused TMC workers of 'assault'
BJYM president Poonam Mahajan says it is painful to see how "democracy is being brutalised in the state under TMC rule", after accusing workers from the ruling party of "assaulting" BJP workers from coming for the rally. She is quoted as saying by PTI, "Our workers are being attacked on a daily basis. Since yesterday we have reports that our workers are being assaulted and stopped from coming to the rally."
Youth Congress workers also tried to block Amit Shah's convoy
They also tried to block his convoy by lining up motorcycles on the street, but police removed them. Meanwhile, BJP’s youth wing, BJP Yuva Morcha (BJYM), which is organising the event tweets, "The whole West Bengal is standing with BJP and against you @MamataOfficial ji. #BJPForSonarBangla."
Amit Shah shown black flags by youth Congress workers
BJP president Amit Shah was today shown black flags by youth Congress workers when he came out of the NSC Bose International airport here to attend a rally in central part of the city, the police said. The youth Congress workers showed black flags and raised anti-Modi and anti-Shah slogans as the BJP national president stepped out of the airport.
BJP supporters at rally
Here are some pictures of the rally taken by our photojournalist Partha Paul.(Express Photo/Partha Paul)
Shah arrives in Kolkata
Amit Shah has arrived in Kolkata and is on the way to the venue to address the rally. It has been organised by the BJP’s youth wing, BJP Yuva Morcha (BJYM), will be held at Mayo Road. BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya welcomed Shah at the airport.
Amit Shah to speak at 1 pm
BJP president Amit Shah is addressing a rally in Kolkata this afternoon. This is his first visit to West Bengal since Assam's draft NRC was announced on July 30. The ruling TMC has been protesting the NRC as several Bengalis were omitted from the draft. Ahead of his rally, BJP and TMC have been indulging in a poster war, with both parties' hoardings coming up in and around the venue. Follow our LIVE blog as we cover Amit Shah's speech.