West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday dared the Bharatiya Janata Party to conduct a United Nations-monitored referendum on the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens, NDTV reported. The Trinamool Congress chief made the remark at a rally at Kolkata’s Rani Rashmoni Avenue.
“If BJP has guts, it should go for a UN-monitored referendum on the amended Citizenship Act and NRC,” she said. “If the BJP loses this mass vote, then it should step down from the government.”
Banerjee challenged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah. “Let’s have a vote,” she added. “Just because you are majority, you can’t do just about anything. You are terrorising all, the pillars of society.”
The chief minister claimed that she had received inputs that the BJP was buying skull caps for its members so that they could vandalise properties and malign Muslims, PTI reported.
However, on Friday, the Trinamool chief claimed her remarks were misinterpreted. “What I meant was that let there be an opinion poll on CAA and NRC by experts and let the UN observe it,” Hindustan Times quoted her as saying. “I said let the human rights commission also look into this. I don’t want to react to what BJP is saying. Whenever they cannot digest something they say we are anti-nationals. The UN has many charters. They are watching the situation.”
On Wednesday, Banerjee had reminded Amit Shah that his job was to “douse the fire” and not fan the flames. “He is not the home minister of one particular party, he should remember that he is the home minister of the entire country,” she added.
On Thursday, protests were held across the country against the amended Citizenship Act. Hundreds were detained in Delhi and Bengaluru, while there was violence in some places such as Mangaluru.