Union Minister Babul Supriyo Friday opted out of a rally in support of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) in Asansol after the local police denied him permission. The BJP leader instead returned to Kolkata, saying, “I’m a law-abiding citizen”.
Later, Supriyo held a press conference and accused Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of “misguiding people, due to which they have started protesting” against the amended Citizenship Act and proposed implementation of National Register of Citizens (NRC).
Slamming the Chief Minister, he said, “The kind of violence, we all have been witnessing in the state, shows Bengal needs the NRC more than any other state. The BJP had mentioned about the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in its (poll) manifesto (before the General Elections earlier this year), people voted us to power and now we are fulfilling our promise. The CM cannot stop this by hiring goons and instigating people to spread violence. The CAA has no connection with Muslims already staying in India. She is misguiding people, due to which they have started protesting. We will not allow such things,” said Supriyo.
On the other hand, BJP state president Dilip Ghosh managed to take out his “Abhinandan rally” from Kalpahari to Durga Mandir in the Paschim Bardhaman district headquarters in support of the amended Citizenship Act.
The party took out rallies in several other parts of the state as well to raise public opinion in favour of the new citizenship law, even as Chief Minister Banerjee has been conducting protest rallies stating that she would not allow its implementation in West Bengal as long as she is alive. Protests over the amended Citizenship Act had been raging across the state over the past several days, with agitators setting fire to trains, buses and railway station complexes in different areas.