West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday lashed out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, accusing him of frequently comparing India and Pakistan while criticising his opponents.
“India is a big country with a rich culture and heritage, why does the PM regularly compare our nation with Pakistan?” the Trinamool Congress leader asked at an anti-Citizenship Amendment Act rally in Siliguri. “Are you the prime minister of India or the ambassador of Pakistan. Why do you refer to Pakistan in every issue?”
On Thursday, Modi had told Opposition parties and others against the new citizenship law to talk about Pakistan’s persecution of religious minorities instead of opposing the legislation. “Has prime minister forgotten about India that he needs to talk about Pakistan at regular intervals?” said Banerjee.
Banerjee – who is a vocal critic of the amended citizenship law and the proposed National Register of Citizens, and has led multiple protest rallies – said it was a shame that people were having to prove their citizenship even after 70 years of Independence, Hindustan Times reported. “If we raise the issue of joblessness and hunger, they say go to Pakistan,” Banerjee said. “I won’t let them take rights.”
Banerjee accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of deliberately creating confusion about the National Register of Citizens – an exercise to identify undocumented immigrants – and pointed out that its leaders were making contradictory statements. “On one hand the prime minister is saying there will be no NRC but on the other, the Union home minister and other ministers are claiming that the exercise will be conducted across the country.”
Earlier this week, the chief minister said she would not stop till the withdrawal of the legislation. Last Friday, she had said the amended citizenship law would not be implemented in the state as long as she was alive.