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Mamata's Big Attack On Centre: 'CAA Is BJP's Political Agenda For Votes'

Banerjee's remarks came after Union Minister Shantanu Thakur said on Sunday that the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) will be implemented across the country in a week.

Mamata's Big Attack On Centre: 'CAA Is BJP's Political Agenda For Votes'

KOLKATA: West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress boss Mamata Banerjee launched a scathing attack on the central government on Monday, accusing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of resurrecting the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) as a political ploy to sway upcoming elections. Speaking fervently at a public distribution event in Cooch Behar, Mamata Banerjee lambasted the BJP for reigniting the "CAA, CAA" chant, labelling it as a desperate bid for electoral favour as the Lok Sabha elections draw near. "We have fought against the NRC. Rajbanshis are citizens of India. They have again started shouting CAA, CAA for the sake of votes," Mamata Banerjee said.

Thakur's Controversial Remark On CAA

The fiery exchange ensued after Union Minister Shantanu Thakur's bold declaration that the implementation of the CAA would commence nationwide within a mere week, sparking further tension and dissent. During an interview with a news channel, Thakur said that swift implementation of the contentious legislation would be made within seven days. "The CAA will be implemented very soon. It will be implemented within seven days. This is my guarantee," said Thakur, also a leader of the Matua community.

Mamata's Opposition To CAA 

Asserting the citizenship of all residents under her governance, Mamata Banerjee emphasized the provision of essential state benefits as proof of citizenship, vehemently challenging the BJP's narrative. "All of you are citizens. We have given permanent addresses to all colonies. They get ration, go to school, get scholarships, get Kisan Bandhu, Shikhashree, Oikoshree, Laxmir Bhandar. How could they get these benefits if they had not been citizens? Had they been able to cast votes if they were not citizens?" Banerjee questioned.

Accusing the central government of wielding investigative agencies as political weapons, Banerjee condemned the misuse of power, citing instances of intimidation and coercion against political adversaries. Hitting out at the central government for misusing central agencies, Banerjee said, "Do you remember the Sitalkuchi case? The CISF has earlier shot four people to death. They shoot people as if they are zamindars. If anyone oppresses you in your village, fire an FIR first. They instil fear and conduct elections through agencies."

The contentious CAA, introduced by the Narendra Modi administration, aims to grant citizenship to persecuted non-Muslim migrants from neighboring countries, triggering widespread protests and civil unrest following its enactment in 2019.

Protests Against CAA

With echoes of dissent reverberating across the nation, the CAA remains a polarizing issue, symbolizing the enduring struggle between political agendas and the fundamental rights of citizenship.