Accusing the Bharatiya Janata Party ( BJP) of sparking a debate on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 whenever elections approach West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said that the BJP will not return to power in 2024.
“Whenever elections are around the BJP speaks of implementing the CAA, the NRC (National Register of Citizens). By speaking of the CAA they try to confuse people,” Ms Banerjee said. The Trinamool chairperson was referring to the development in Gujarat where ahead of the announcement of dates of Assembly elections, the Ministry of Home Affairs has empowered district collectors to grant citizenship certificates to the members of Hindu, Sikh, Parsi, Christian, Buddhist and Jain communities from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh.
The Chief Minister was addressing a public rally at Krishnanagar in Nadia district, an area with significant Matua population, a community of Hindu refugees from Bangladesh who have supported the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
“Whenever elections are around they remember about Matuas. I am telling my Matua brothers and sisters nobody can snatch away your citizenship, I am ready to pay with my life but won’t allow them to snatch your citizenship,” Ms. Banerjee said. The Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal has opposed any implementation of the CAA in the State.
Speaking about the prospect of the BJP in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, the Chief Minister said that the situation is different from 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
“The BJP will not come to power in 2024. I am not saying this but people are saying… Do you think they will get all the seats? No calculation says so,” she said. During her speech the Trinamool chairperson said that in 2019 the BJP was in power in Bihar and Jharkhand which is not the situation now and went on to claim that the BJP won’t get seats from Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
Ms. Banerjee said that unlike in 2019 Lok Sabha polls where the BJP won almost all the seats from Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat the situation will not be the same in 2024.
This is the second time in the past six months that Ms. Banerjee said that the BJP will not return to power in 2024. During her party’s annual Martyrs Day rally on July 21, Ms. Banerjee had made similar claims. In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls the BJP in West Bengal had improved its tally from two to 18 seats.
Addressing the rally, Ms. Banerjee urged people of the adjoining Ranaghat constituency which had elected a BJP MP to Parliament not to vote for the saffron party in 2024.