KOLKATA: A day after West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee called for a United Nations-monitored referendum to ascertain how many favoured or opposed the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), 2019, she made a U-turn on Friday.
After drawing flak from several political parties, Banerjee claimed that she meant opinion poll and not a referendum.
“I did not say so, let the human rights commission from UN, let there be a panel of experts from our country and let there be a opinion poll and let UN observe. I did not say UN should conduct referendum, there should be an impartial opinion poll. I did not use the word ‘referendum’. I used the bangla word ‘gono vote’ meaning opinion poll,” Banerjee said while addressing reporters at the Trinamool Congress party office.
A day ago, the TMC supremo, while addressing a public rally in Rani Rashmoni Avenue against National Register of Citizens (NRC) and Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), had said, “Let United Nations (UN) come and do a referendum on CAA and see how many people accept it.”
Hours after her comment, West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar took to Twitter and hit out at Banerjee.
“I appeal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to please withdraw her reported statement, “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". We must never compromise on our nationalism. Nation has always to be first. I am sure CM Mamata Banerjee will heed my humble request and withdraw forthwith her reported statement. I am distressed, pained and hurt as citizen of this great nation at such a statement,” he wrote on Twitter.
He further wrote, “It will be historic blunder to seek outside intervention in any form when in our mature functional democracy constitution provides for effective efficacious remedy for all situations. In this case Supreme Court is already seized of it. I reiterate my appeal to CM for withdrawal.”