Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday accused West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of “triggering riots” and “burning trains” to oppose the Citizenship Amendment Act, NDTV reported. The home minister’s remark came in the the backdrop of large-scale communal violence following clashes between supporters and opponents of the citizenship law in Delhi, where at least 42 people were killed.
Shah, who arrived in Kolkata amid massive protests, launched the Bharatiya Janata Party’s campaign for the upcoming municipal elections that would be held in April. “I want to ask Mamata didi – why are you hurting the interests of our refugees?” he asked at a rally in Shahid Minar Ground. “You only care about infiltrators. Refugees are being misled and scared...Hindus who fled our neighbouring countries who were raped and threatened and killed... should they not get citizenship?”
The home minister accused Opposition parties of misguiding the refugees and minorities and reiterated that not a single person would lose their citizenship because of the Act. “The Opposition is terrorising minorities...I assure every person from the minority community that CAA only provides citizenship, does not take it away,” Shah said. It won’t affect your citizenship. We will not stop until and unless all the refugees are granted citizenship.”
Video footage from the rally area showed men, dressed in saffron and waving BJP flags, shouting the “goli maaro [shoot the traitor]” slogan, reported NDTV. A policeman could be seen escorting the crowd.
Shah also claimed that the BJP will form the next government in West Bengal with two-third majority in the 2021 Assembly elections. “I thank Bengal for 18 seats in 2019 [Lok Sabha elections],” the minister said. “Mamata [Banerjee] used to say we will lose our deposits. The BJP got two-crore plus votes in Bengal. Mamata-ji, just wait, in 2021 election, we will win Bengal with clear majority.”
The BJP leader claimed that Banerjee was not allowing the prime minister to develop Bengal. “The Sonar Bangla will not be formed under Mamata di,” he said. “Bring the BJP to power and in five years, we will make the dream come true.”
‘People who want to divide the country must fear NSG’: Shah
Shah also said people who want to “divide” the country and disrupt peace must fear the National Security Guards. He was addressing a gathering at the inauguration of 29 Special Composite Group Complex of National Security Guards in Rajarhat.
“We want peace in the entire world,” he said. “In our history of 10,000 years, India has never attacked anyone. We would not allow anyone to disrupt our peace. And anyone who takes the lives of soldiers will have to pay dearly. People who want to divide the nation and disrupt its peace, they should fear the presence of NSG. If they still come, it is the responsibility of NSG to fight and defeat them.”
The Bharatiya Janata Party leader also said that India has zero tolerance towards terrorism and has developed a “proactive” defence policy under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “After PM Modi came to power, a distinct differentiation has been made between India’s defence and foreign policy,” he added.
Shah said India has also joined the league of countries like the United States and Israel in carrying out surgical strikes.
Earlier in the day, hundreds of protestors of the Left Front and Congress, holding black flags and posters against the Citizenship Amendment Act, demonstrated outside Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport.