Calling for launching a "second freedom struggle" to resist any NRC exercise or the CAB by hitting the streets, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday asked workers of her Trinamool Congress to ensure the BJP-led NDA government could not snatch people's rights to live in India. Claiming that West Bengal has already seen 30 deaths due to suicide or depression related to any possible National Register of Citizens (NRC) exercise, she held central leaders of the BJP responsible for the situation.
"They make provocative speeches, statements. If they provoke anybody through their speeches, and it leads to loss of lives, then they have to take responsibility," Banerjee, who is also the Trinamool supremo, said.
Asserting that her government would not allow any NRC exercise in Bengal, she said elsewhere her party would give support to others to resist any such efforts.
"We will launch another freedom struggle against NRC and CAB. We could not take part in the first freedom struggle which gave us our freedom. But we will take part in the second freedom movement. We will resist NRC and CAB," she said at the Solidarity Day rally organised by her party.
Dwelling on the CAB, she wondered how could one differentiate between religions in giving citizenship by going against the letter and spirit of the Indian Constitution. Banerjee, however, said she would support if the aim was to give citizenship to everybody irrespective of religion and caste.
"But if anybody tries to snatch our citizenship, we won't spare them, we will launch a democratic protest," she said, urging Trinamool workers to fearlessly build up a movement in booths, blocks, villages, towns and cities.
Banerjee said she did not believe in differentiating between Hindus and Muslims and called upon the majority to give protection to the minority. "They want to drive out Biharis and Rajasthanis from Bengal. But we won't allow that. This is our protest. We will hold procession, rallies and meetings," she said.
Banerjee asked workers whether they were prepared to come out on to the streets if anybody faced atrocities. "Will you come out on to the streets or not, will you be ready for a struggle?" she asked. The audience responded with a loud "yes".
Refering to Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the Trinamool supremo said: "I know Hasina ji gives protection to Hindus as they are minorities. Similarly in Bengal, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians are minorities. Here the majority will give protection to the minority. This is our responsibility."
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