CAA A “Trap” Or Is It “Rumour And Lies”? Mamata Banerjee Vs PM In Bengal



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Kolkata:

Cooch Behar, the crucial north Bengal district, became subject to strong opposing political views today as Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi held rallies within 30 km of each other. While Ms Banerjee labelled the BJP worse than a snake — “You can trust a snake and even tame it, but not the BJP” — the Prime Minister addressed what has come to be the burning political issue in the state, the Citizenship Amendment Act. But his defence was crouched in an attack on the ruling Trinamool Congress — the CAA is being tarred to remove attention from corruption, he said, without naming Ms Banerjee or her party.

“They (INDIA bloc) never cared for the marginalised communities. Now that we have brought CAA, they are spreading rumours and lies. It is Modi ki guarantee to provide citizenship to those who have faith in Maa Bharati,” he said this evening, addressing a rally at the Rash Mela grounds in Cooch Behar.

“I am saying remove corruption; the opposition is saying ‘save the corrupt.’ I will ensure the corrupt are punished, and the poor get justice. In the next five years, more stringent action will be taken against the corrupt,” he added.

There was also a reference to Sandeshkhali, which has emerged as the hot button issue in this election.  While Trinamool was trying to save the culprits of Sandeshkhali, “the BJP’s focus is empowering the women. The culprits of Sandeshkhali will spend their lives in jail,” PM Modi said.

The CAA issue was addressed by the Chief Minister, who was in Cooch Behar around noon.

As soon as one registers under the Citizenship Amendment Act, one will be deemed to be from Bangladesh and they will lose all basic rights, she told her audience.

“As soon as you submit your name for registration, you will be declared a Bangladeshi. This means you will not get the benefits under Lakhishree, Kanyashee, you will not be able to vote, you will not have citizenship rights, government rights. Think yourself whether it is good or bad,” Ms Banerjee said.

“The CAA is a trap to turn legal citizens into foreigners. Once you (BJP) implement CAA, NRC will follow… Remember CAA is the head of the fish, the tail is the NRC,” Ms Banerjee said, citing the snake analogy to claim the BJp is not to be trusted..  

“We would allow neither CAA nor NRC in West Bengal. If you apply, you will be designated as foreigners,” she added.

The BJP is hoping to win 25 of the state’s 42 Lok Sabha seats in the coming election, a chunk of which is expected to come from north Bengal where the BJP has consolidated its base over the last decade.

The BJP has re-nominated the sitting MP, junior home minister Nisith Pramanik, from Cooch Behar.  The Trinamool has fielded the sitting MLA of Sitai, Rajbanshi community member Jagadish Barma Basunia.

Ms Banerjee claimed today that the minister is a Trinamool reject. “It is a matter of national shame that a person against whom there are several cases has been appointed as the minister of state for home affairs. He was sacked from our party. Now, he is the asset of the BJP,” she said.

Mr Pramanik, a former leader of the Trinamool’s youth wing, was expelled from the party in 2018, after which he joined the BJP.



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