Mamata calls for protest, TMC says govt embarrassing country across world
Even as West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee called for mass protests against the new citizenship law, her party TMC accused the Union government of “internationally embarrassing the country” and “making enemies out of friends”.
Speaking at Digha on Friday, Banerjee said, “They may send us to jail, may torture us but we will not allow them to divide our country. We will fight back and I am calling all parties and organisations to join us. We together will go for a mass movement against the NRC and CAB.”
She announced that the TMC will organise protest marches starting Sunday. “All political party except BJP are welcome in this protest,” she said.
Banerjee expressed concerns over India-Bangladesh relations after the law. Citing the cancellation of visits by Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as well as Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister A K Abdul Momen and Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan, she said the developments are a “matter of shame for the country”.
The West Bengal CM, who is also the TMC chief, also assured that her government will not implement the new citizenship law in the state. “We will not implement the amended Act, even though it has been passed in Parliament. The BJP can’t just bulldoze the states to implement it,” she said.
Banerjee has also called a meeting of all TMC Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MPs and MLAs to discuss the party’s strategy on the new law and the NRC on December 20.
Meanwhile, TMC spokesperson and Rajya Sabha member Derek O’Brien called the new citizenship law a “maha emergency”.
“The North- East is burning and you are trying to score cheap political points with divisive rhetoric. This government is internationally embarrassing the country. It is a thing when your enemies don’t agree with you now managing to turn friends into enemies. International visits are being cancelled,” O’Brien said.
“During the Emergency, things were shamelessly done. This is a maha Emergency because it is being disguised. Look at the media advisory issued by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry. Just the way it has been framed… it bars anything that ‘promotes anti-national attitudes and/or contains anything affecting the integrity of the nation’, which amounts to muzzling the media…”