The West Bengal Assembly on Monday, 27 January, passed a resolution demanding immediate repeal of the CAA and dropping plans for a pan-India NRC and NPR, with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee calling the new citizenship law “against the Constitution and humanity.”
West Bengal became the fourth state after Left-ruled Kerala, and Punjab and Rajasthan, where the Congress is in power, to have passed a resolution against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.
Speaking on the resolution, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also said the protests against the law is "not just for the minorities but for the sake of the country's unity".
“In Bengal, we won’t allow CAA, NPR, and NRC. We will fight against them peacefully. We want CAA to be repealed immediately. We also want NPR to be revoked. The Citizenship Amendment Act is against the Constitution and humanity,” Banerjee said.
The resolution was supported by the opposition Congress, Gorkha Janamukti Morcha and the CPI(M)-led Left Front, but opposed by the BJP.
The Congress and the LF, however, criticised the TMC government for not allowing them to pass a similar resolution on 9 January.
The Leader of the Opposition Abdul Mannan (Cong) took a dig at the TMC government for its "late realization in bringing the resolution".
Opposing the resolution, BJP legislator Swadhin Sarkar thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah for the Citizenship Amendment Act to help refugees get their citizenship of the country.
He also demanded a voting on the resolution, but it was rejected by the speaker.
The resolution stated that with religion being the criteria for getting citizenship as per the CAA, it is not only against the Constitution but will also destroy the harmony in the country and has already led to disturbances in various places.
“The prime minister has been saying that no existing citizens will loose their citizenship under CAA. But there is no mention of any such clause in the Act. This is creating confusion in the country,” the resolution stated.
‘Fight Together Against Fascist BJP’
Banerjee, while speaking on the resolution, criticised CPI(M) and Congress for its comment 'Didibhai-Modibhai' (refering to the alleged understanding between TMC and BJP) and said the slogan 'Didi-Modi are both sides of same coin' will boomerang for the opposition parties.
She urged the CPI(M) and Congress to put aside political differences and fight together against the "fascist" BJP government at the Centre.
“Time has come to forget our differences and fight together at least on this issue (CAA, NRC, NPR) to save the country,” she said.
"As per the CAA one has to become a foreigner to become a citizen. This is a terrible game which pushes people towards death. Don't fall into their trap," she added.
Banerjee dismissed allegations by Congress and CPI(M) that their resolution on CAA was "stonewalled" by the TMC and said the one brought by the government is "more impactful".
Commenting on her government giving the meeting on NPR convened by the Centre in New Delhi a miss, Banerjee said "Our government had the guts to skip it (the meeting). If the BJP wants, it can dismiss my government".
The TMC supremo also slammed the saffron party for making references to Pakistan, which, she said, is a ploy to divert public attention from issues like economic slowdown and growing unemployment.
"The BJP and prime minister seem to have become brand ambassadors of Pakistan as they always talk of it and less of Hindustan," she said.
The amended citizenship law has emerged as the latest flashpoint in the West Bengal with TMC opposing the contentious legislation tooth and nail and BJP pressing for its implementation.
The state assembly had passed a resolution against NRC in September 2019 and the BJP had not supported it.
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