West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday criticised Union Home Minister Amit Shah for failing to maintain peace as protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act continued across India, NDTV reported. The chief minister made the remarks after leading the third protest march against the amended law in as many days.
“I urge Amit Shah to ensure that the country does not burn,” Banerjee said after marching from Howrah district’s Maidan area to Esplanade in Kolkata. “Your job is to douse the fire.”
The chief minister said there was tension in the country after the demolition of Babri Masjid in 1992, but people went back to living in peace. This peace was disturbed after the Bharatiya Janata Party came to power. “Look what they did to Kashmir, look what they did to Assam and Tripura,” she said, according to News18. “The entire country is burning.”
Banerjee reminded Shah that he had taken a constitutional oath and was required to work within its parameters. “He is not the home minister of one particular party, he should remember that he is the home minister of the entire country,” the chief minister added.
The Trinamool Congress chief accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of not staying true to its promise of “sabka saath, sabka vikas [development for all]” and bringing about “sabke saath sarvanash [catastrophe for all]”, reported NDTV. She alleged that the saffron party was trying to turn the entire country into a detention centre.
Banerjee, a strong critic of the National Register of Citizens exercise and the Citizenship Amendment Act, had stopped all work related to the preparation and update of the National Population Register in West Bengal. She has repeatedly said she should oppose both NRC and the amended citizenship law.
The population register is a database of Indian residents that will contain demographic and biometric details. The central government has decided to prepare NPR between April 2020 and September 2020. The exercise is conducted at the local, sub-district, district, state and national levels. The data collected will be used when the National Register of Citizens is rolled out across India. The population register was first prepared in 2010 and updated in 2015.