Protest rallies in Bengal against citizenship act, says Mamata Banerjee
The ruling party in West Bengal has vehemently opposed the “unconstitutional” bill in both the Houses of Parliament.Updated: Dec 13, 2019 16:13 IST
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee reiterated on Friday the new citizenship act will not be implemented in West Bengal as she announced a series of protests across the state.
The Trinamool Congress chief also said that the decision of India and Japan to defer Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s scheduled visit for an annual summit with his counterpart Narendra Modi, which was to be held in Assam’s Guwahati over the weekend amid protests over the Citizenship Act across the northeast, will “be a blot on our country”.
The ruling party in West Bengal has vehemently opposed the “unconstitutional” bill in both the Houses of Parliament. One of its lawmakers, Abhishek Banerjee, had said in the Lok Sabha that his party “will fight till the last drop of blood but won’t allow NRC” in the state.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, was passed by the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday and by Lok Sabha on Monday.
The citizenship law will grant Indian citizenship to immigrants of faiths other than Islam from the three neighbouring countries on the ground that they came to India due to religious persecution because they are minorities.
Under the new law, those belonging to the Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi or Christian communities from Afghanistan, Bangladesh or Pakistan would not be counted as illegal migrants even if they don’t have documents. They will also be eligible to get citizenship by naturalisation in half the time.
Many opposition parties had criticised the change in Parliament this week that has also reopened ethnic fault lines in regions such as Assam, which have a history of anti-immigration movements, especially against people from Bangladesh.
Protests have erupted in several parts of the country, especially in the northeastern states and at least two people were killed in Guwahati on Thursday in police firing.
Mamata Banerjee also announced her party will hold several protests programmes across the state against the act.
“@MamataOfficial announces mega rally against #CitizenshipAmendmentBill2019 on December 16 in #Kolkata. The rally will begin near the statue of Dr BR Ambedkar and end at Jorasanko. Didi will walk in the rally,” her party tweeted.
“District organisations of Trinamool will organise protests on the issue of #CitizenshipAmendmentBill on December 2019 across the State. Another rally will be held from Jadavpur till Gandhi statue on Mayo Road on December 17,” it said in another tweet.