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Amit Shah dares Mamata to arrest him amid war of words over Assam list

The Kolkata Police gave permission for BJP president Amit Shah’s rally on August 11, hours after he dared the Mamata Banerjee government to arrest him

india Updated: Aug 02, 2018 00:20 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Amit Shah,Mamata Banerjee,West Bengal
File photo of Bharatiya Janata Party chief Amit Shah. (Samir Jana/HT Photo)

A face-off between BJP chief Amit Shah and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banrejee over the Assam citizen list continued for a second day straight on Wednesday. Shah dared the West Bengal CM to have him arrested amid buzz that he had denied permission to hold a rally in the state.

“It does not matter whether I get permission or not, I will definitely go to Kolkata. If the state government wants, it can get me arrested,” said Amit Shah, who plans to hold a rally on August 11.

Though Mamata Banerjee did not react to the BJP chief’s remark but Kolkata Police quickly put out a statement, declaring they have already given permission for the rally and were again issuing a clarification in view of the “unwarranted speculation in social media”.

This comes a day after Mamata Banerjee’s scathing attack on the BJP over the National Register of Citizens in Assam, which left out the names of 40 lakh people.

The Bengal chief minister on Tuesday warned that the move will lead to a “civil war and bloodbath”.

“They (BJP) are trying to divide the people. The situation cannot be tolerated. There will be a civil war, bloodbath in the country,” said Banerjee.

Her remark drew a sharp reaction from Shah, who said he was “stunned” and asked her, “What about the rights of Indians?” Alleging that Banerjee saw a “vote bank” in illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, Shah today said, “It (NRC) will be implemented to the last full stop and comma.”

The draft National Register of Citizens (NRC) - an exercise to identify illegal immigrants from Bangladesh - has triggered a massive political controversy with opposition parties including Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress accusing the BJP of trying to drive out people for political reasons.

Mamata Banerjee in Delhi today met with top opposition leaders, including Sonia Gandhi. She also paid a ‘courtesy’ visit to the BJP veteran LK Advani.

The draft National Register of Citizens (NRC) - an exercise to identify illegal immigrants from Bangladesh - has triggered a massive political controversy with opposition parties accusing the BJP of trying to drive out people for political reasons.

Lawmakers of opposition parties today staged a protest outside Parliament against the move. Armed with placards against the NRC, leaders from the TMC, SP RJD, TDP, AAP, BSP and JD(S) demanded that the government bring in changes in the NRC.

On Assam citizen list, the Supreme Court on Tuesday said that it is a draft and “no coercive action” would be taken against people whose names were excluded.

First Published: Aug 01, 2018 16:51 IST