A protest in Kolkata on Sunday against PM Narendra Modi’s visit. (Express Photo by Partha Paul)
Protests by students, mostly affiliated to the Congress and Left Front parties, against the new citizenship law and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who came to Kolkata on Saturday on a two-day visit, continued overnight and went on through Sunday till he left for New Delhi.
Several Youth Congress workers protested against Modi, shouting “go back” and showing black flags at the Race Course helipad and Netaji Indoor Stadium, where the Prime Minister attended the 150th anniversary celebrations of Kolkata Port Trust. Police rounded up the demonstrators and took them to the city police headquarters at Lalbazar.
Protesters, who hit the streets on Saturday with placards that read ‘Modi go back’, continued their sit-in all night at Esplanade area of central Kolkata, protesting against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), proposed National Register of Citizens and the National Population Register.
They continued their dharna overnight with music and slogans, besides playing chess, football and badminton among other activities.
On Sunday, several CPI(M) and Congress leaders also joined them.
Replying to Modi’s claim that some political parties were fuelling misconception about the CAA, CPI(M) leader Md Salim said, “Basically Narendra Modi and (Home Minister) Amit Shah are misleading the people.”
Congress leader Somen Mitra said they started the movement, along with the Left Front, and would continue with it.
On Saturday evening, a group of students affiliated to the Left parties reached the Trinamool Congress Chatra Parishad (TMCP) protest venue nearby on Rani Rasmoni Road, where Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had arrived after attending the Millennium Park programme, and shouted slogans against her. They demanded an explanation from Banerjee for meeting the Prime Minister.
Banerjee tried to pacify the students and said she had gone there to meet the Prime Minister as Chief Minister. “Show me one leader who has the guts to say it on the face of Narendra Modi that we are opposing the CAA. We (TMC) have been protesting from day one against the CAA. We (TMC, Left and Congress) are protesting against the same issue, so please don’t deviate from it. I would request you all to protest in a democratic way,” she had said.