West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday continued her protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act, and said she would not stop till the withdrawal of the legislation. On Friday, the chief minister had said the amended citizenship law would not be implemented in the state as long as she was alive.
“BJP [Bharatiya Janata Party] is planning to take away the citizenship of legal citizens,” she said before a five-km protest march in Purulia district. “I appeal to everybody to join hands against the BJP and isolate them everywhere.”
Banerjee also criticised the saffron party for describing “peaceful protestors as anti-nationals”. The chief minister said demonstrators should make sure their names figure on the voters list, and the “rest will be taken care of” by her.
Banerjee, a vocal critic of the Citizenship Amendment Act, had castigated Home Minister Amit Shah on December 18 for failing to maintain peace during the recent nationwide protests. The following day, she challenged the BJP to conduct a United Nations-monitored referendum on the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens. However, later she claimed she had been misquoted.
The chief minister has led multiple protest rallies since the amended citizenship law was approved by Parliament on December 11. Banerjee has also opposed the National Register of Citizens – a proposed nationwide exercise to identify undocumented migrants – on several occasions.