Kolkata

Ready for talks with PM if CAA is repealed: Mamata

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee paints during a protest against the CAA and NRC at an art camp in Kolkata on January 28, 2020.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee paints during a protest against the CAA and NRC at an art camp in Kolkata on January 28, 2020.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Government must take people into confidence, says Bengal Chief Minister.

Amidst continuing protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC), West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said she was “ready to talk” with the Prime Minister, if the law was “repealed.”

“It is good, if he [Prime Minister] is ready to open a dialogue; he must call all the political parties. But before passing [CAA] political parties were not consulted. First you implement the law and then you say that you are ready to talk…[if] you are ready to talk, first repeal [CAA] and we are ready to talk, no problem,” Ms. Banerjee said.

The Chief Minister was speaking at a protest where paintings were exhibited. Ms Banerjee also joined in the programme and painted the face of a young girl and wrote “no CAA” across the painting.

Later she said, “The Prime Minister should take people of the country in confidence and assure us that CAA will be repealed (as) many Assemblies have passed resolution it.” Ms Banerjee added that her criticism has nothing to do with the CAA matter pending in the Supreme Court. “I respect the court and I am not talking about the court matters but about the common people,” she said.

‘NPR divisive’

Criticising National Population Register (NPR), Ms Banerjee said if the NPR is introduced, “the country will be divided like anything as NPR and NRC are related and they are a trio [with CAA].”

Ms Banerjee also referred again to the Prime Minister’s repeated references to Pakistan, saying that there is “no need” to promote the neighbouring country in India.

“How long are you [BJP] expected to chant the name of Pakistan? We do not take Pakistan’s name, it is not my country. We are proud of our country, Hindustan, and as a Bengali, but BJP’s political mandate is to glorify Pakistan,” she said.

The Chief Minister did not comment on the protest by students at the Calcutta University convocation.

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Printable version | Feb 28, 2020 5:58:54 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kolkata/ready-for-talks-with-pm-if-caa-is-repealed-mamata/article30676867.ece

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