Day After Enforcement of CAA, PM Modi to Arrive in Kolkata Amid Tight Security; Protests Planned
Kolkata: In the midst of National Register of Citizens (NRC) and Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests in Bengal, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to arrive in Kolkata on Saturday to attend Kolkata Port Trust's (KPT) event.
This will be PM Modi's first visit to West Bengal after BJP's impressive show in the last Lok Sabha election by winning 18 seats (out of 42) in Bengal. Last time, he came in April, 2019 to address public rallies in South Dinajpore and in Nadia districts.
PM Modi is scheduled to arrive at Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport (NSCBIA) at 4pm and around 7pm he will inaugurate a light and sound show at Howrah Bridge. From there he will proceed to Ramkrishna Mission headquarters in Belurmath. In 2015, Modi for the first time after becoming the PM, visited Belurmath.
On Sunday, he will address an event of Kolkata Port Trust (KPT) around 11am at Netaji Indoor Stadium and at 12.45pm, he will depart from Kolkata.
Party insiders claimed that chief minister Mamata Banerjee is likely to meet PM Modi on the first day of his visit to Kolkata. Though, the agenda of the meeting is not yet known but Mamata is likely to discuss various state-centre issues, including NRC and CAA.
I am excited to be in West Bengal today and tomorrow. I am delighted to be spending time at the Ramakrishna Mission and that too when we mark Swami Vivekananda’s Jayanti. There is something special about that place.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 11, 2020
Earlier, in September 18 last year, Mamata met PM Modi after a gap of nearly 16 months at his 7, Lok Kalyan Marg residence. Then, she termed the meeting as 'non-political meeting' and 'very good'. Then, for the first time she had also met Union Home Minister Amit Shah and discussed many issues, including the National Register of Citizens.
BJP state vice-president, Joy Prakash Majundar, had said that, "A meeting with the senior state party leaders is also in the pipeline." During meeting with the party leaders, PM Modi may inquire about the present situation in Bengal over Centre's decision to implement NRC and CAA.
PM Modi's Kolkata visit seems to be crucial amid series of protest rallies planned by the ruling TMC and college students.
Mamata had already announced that she will fight against NRC and CAA till her last breath. "We opposed Centre's decision to implement NRC, CAA. Why we need to prove ourself that we are Indian? My party workers will protest in each and every block against NRC. We are in favour of all the religions. We respect people from all caste and creed. We don't discriminate people based on their religion. NRC is based on religion and therefore we will not support this,”"she had said.
Her reaction came after Union Home Minister Amit Shah had said that Modi government would implement the NRC all over the country and "throw out infiltrators" from every inch of India, and he reiterated it by, saying that it will be done before the 2024 general election.
Massive security arrangements were made by the Special Protection Group (SPG) in consultation with the Kolkata Police. Amid protests, the security is several notches tighter as the city turns into a fortress. According to local reports, a protest at Kaikhali on VIP Road is still on. Another demonstration has been lined up outside Raj Bhawan, and both Left and Congress have planned to wave black flag.