Amit Shah rally HIGHLIGHTS: Why is Mamata Banerjee protecting Bangladeshi infiltrators, asks BJP chief

Amit Shah in Kolkata: BJP president Amit Shah addressed the Yuva Swabhiman Samavesh rally in Kolkata this afternoon.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: August 11, 2018 4:39:03 pm
First visit since NRC, BJP chief Amit Shah to take on Mamata's TMC BJP chief Amit Shah Saturday addressed a rally on Mayo Road (Express Photo/Dasarath Deka/File)

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.

Live Blog

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.

14:29 (IST) 11 Aug 2018
Shah concludes speech

Amit Shah has concluded his speech. 

14:29 (IST) 11 Aug 2018
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.

14:22 (IST) 11 Aug 2018
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.

14:17 (IST) 11 Aug 2018
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.

14:15 (IST) 11 Aug 2018
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. 

14:13 (IST) 11 Aug 2018
'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.

14:09 (IST) 11 Aug 2018
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.

14:06 (IST) 11 Aug 2018
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.

14:01 (IST) 11 Aug 2018
Amit Shah begins speaking

BJP chief Amit Shah is addressing the people.

14:00 (IST) 11 Aug 2018
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.'

13:52 (IST) 11 Aug 2018

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.

13:47 (IST) 11 Aug 2018
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.

13:43 (IST) 11 Aug 2018
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."

(Source: Twitter/@AmitShah)

13:35 (IST) 11 Aug 2018
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!

13:31 (IST) 11 Aug 2018
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."

13:10 (IST) 11 Aug 2018
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."

13:07 (IST) 11 Aug 2018
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.

12:53 (IST) 11 Aug 2018
BJP supporters at rally

Here are some pictures of the rally taken by our photojournalist Partha Paul.(Express Photo/Partha Paul)

12:48 (IST) 11 Aug 2018
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.

(Source: Twitter/@KailashOnline)

12:42 (IST) 11 Aug 2018
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.

A poster with the slogan "Anti-Bengal BJP Go Back" is seen along with the posters of BJP leaders at the venue of BJP President Amit Shah's rally, in Kolkata on Friday, August 10, 2018. (PTI Photo) 

As a mark of protest against Shah's visit to the state, hoardings with slogans "Anti-Bengal BJP Go Back" were displayed on Mayo Road. Hoardings of TMC leader Mamata Banerjee have also been put up ahead of the rally. In one such hoarding, a picture of Mamata with a raised fist and a microphone was seen with ‘Unnoyoner Protik loho pronam’ (symbol of development we salute you) was written.

State BJP secretary Sayantan Basu said, “What is there to say if they are extending their courteousness at our leader’s visit. They seem to welcome our national leaders including the prime minister and our national president with their banners and hoardings. This is their culture and we do not feel disturbed."

Also read | CM’s cutouts, TMC hoardings crop up again, this time around Amit Shah rally venue

A senior TMC leader, meanwhile, said, “Their national leaders, even Prime Minister may visit Bengal thousands of time, but the people of Bengal are with Mamata Banerjee… Our flags and the hoardings of our party chief Mamata Banerjee will remind them that Bengal belongs to TMC not to any communal force."