West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today urged PM Narendra Modi to withdraw the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and reconsider the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR). Speaking with the media after a meeting with the PM at Raj Bhawan, Mamata said the PM told her to come to New Delhi and discuss the matter.
The meeting assumes significance as the citizenship law has emerged as a major flashpoint in the state between the BJP and Mamata’s Trinamool Congress, which is opposed to the contentious legislation. After the meeting, Mamata went straight to a TMC students’ wing sit-in against the CAA, where she reiterated her stand that the new citizenship law would never be implemented in Bengal.
However, Left students activists reached the spot and raised slogans seeking an explanation from her over the meeting with Modi and diluting the fight against amended Citizenship Act.
Banerjee termed her meeting with PM Modi as a “courtesy visit” and said she had raised issues regarding the financial assistance that the state was yet to receive from the Centre. “It was a courtesy meeting. I told him about Rs 28,000 crore that the state is yet to receive from the Centre, including Rs 7,000 crore we are supposed to get for Cyclone Fani.”
“I told him we are against the CAA, NPR and NRC and protests are going on across the country against these.”
“I told him there should not be any discrimination among masses and no citizens should be left out or tortured. I asked him that the Centre should rethink on the issues and withdraw CAA,” she said.
When asked what PM Modi said in reply, the TMC supremo said: “Regarding the matter related to states, he said he will look into the documents. About these issues (CAA, NRC and NPR), he said he had come for a few government programmes. So if there is an opportunity, he would speak on the subjects in New Delhi.”
The meeting comes two days after Banerjee said in the state Assembly she would boycott an Opposition meeting called by Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi on January 13 over the JNU violence, the CAA and other “anti-people” policies of the Centre.