On Thursday, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee demanded a nationwide referendum on NRC and the CAA.
She demanded a nationwide referendum on the NRC and Citizenship Amendment Act and demanded that it be carried out under the supervision of the UN or any ‘impartial’ organisation.
"Let there be an impartial organisation like United Nations or National Human Rights Commission hold a referendum to see how many people are in favour or against Citizenship (Amendment) Act", she said while addressing a gathering.
Banerjee who has been a vocal critic of the CAA had earlier supported the protest movements that have broken out across the country. She also led several protest rallies against the CAA in Kolkata.
Speaking on Thursday, Banerjee accused the BJP of "dividing" the country and said that the protests against the amended Citizenship Act will not stop unless the government withdraws the legislation, which aims to grant citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from three countries in India's neighbourhood.
"Suddenly after 73 years of independence, we have to prove that we are Indian citizens. Where was BJP's at that time, BJP is dividing the country. Don't stop your protest because we have to get CAA revoked... Protests will get stronger as the day passes," Banerjee said while speaking at a protest in Kolkata.
She also termed it 'dirty politics' and said, "You have won 38 per cent vote after doing so much and many of them are against you. It's bad luck for us that we have to give our fathers and mothers identity. All are citizens and suddenly who gave this idea that we have to give proof of it... They are doing dirty politics".
Earlier on Thursday, as news broke that historian Ramachandra Guha had been detained in Bengaluru during the protests, Banerjee had criticised the move.
Taking to Twitter the Chief Minister wrote that This government is scared of students. This government is scared of one of India’s most accomplished historians for speaking to the media on #CAB #NRC and holding a poster of GandhiJi. I condemn the detention of Ram Guha. We extend our full solidarity to all those detained."
This government is scared of students. This government is scared of one of India’s most accomplished historians for speaking to the media on #CAB #NRC and holding a poster of GandhiJi. I condemn the detention of Ram Guha. We extend our full solidarity to all those detained— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) December 19, 2019
In the meantime, West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Thursday appealed to the people to stop the agitation in the interest of peace in a Twitter post where he also tagged the Chief Minister.
.@MamataOfficial. Now that the Supreme Court is seized of challenge to validity of Citizenship (Amenendment) Act 2019 and has granted no stay, I appeal all to give up agitational path in the interest of peace so that normalcy returns and suffering of people is contained.— Jagdeep Dhankhar (@jdhankhar1) December 19, 2019
(With inputs from agencies)
(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)