West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday got a setback in the Supreme Court when the latter refused to accept her government’s plea against Centre’s decision to make Aadhar mandatory. The apex court asked as to how can a state government question a Central law. The court’s observation came while hearing a plea by Banerjee government against the Centre’s move to make Aadhaar mandatory for various benefits. As reported by ANI, the top court observed that anyone can move the top court in personal capacity but the state can’t question Central law. However, this is not the first time when Mamata Banerjee is confronting Modi government on such issues.
Here are five instances when Modi government’s decisions were fiercely opposed by Banerjee.
1) Demonetisation: Mamata Banerjee had confronted Modi government at the time of implemetation of demonetisation. She had even dared the Centre to arrest her and warned it against “touching” state government officers. “You don’t have to touch anybody. You arrest me. I challenge you, if you have the guts you arrest all of us, nothing will deter us from raising out voice against demonetisation. Demonetisation is a big scam. We want to know what is the deal. We will say it thousand times,” she had said at a public meeting. Demonetisation decision was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 8 last year.
2) GST: The West Bengal CM has been one of the harshest critics of GST. She and her party were one of the few stakeholders who had boycotted the midnight programme in the Parliament to rollout GST on June 30. In a Facebook post, Banerjee had warned the Centre that it was about to commit “another epic blunder”—after demonetisation—by introducing the goods and services tax (GST) from 1 July.
3) Centre’s directive on Independence Day: Banerjee government had directly confronted the Centre over Independence Day celebrations in August. The Bengal government had then decided to suspend all school programmes in accordance with the MHRD, and rather asked the institutions to celebrate it the way they wanted, India Today had reported. As per the circular, schools were requested to organise a number of activities between August 8 and 15 with an objective to “create festive and patriotic mood across the nation”.
4) Darjeeling violence and removal of central forces: The Rajnath Singh-led Union Home Ministry decided to withdraw 10 of its 15 CAPF troops from the region after the GJM strike ended nearly 104 days. However, Mamata Banerjee government, having a view that Darjeeling was still volatile, objected to the removal of forces. Later, it filed a plea with the Calcutta High Court requesting the halt of forces from the city. The court on October 17 decided to stay the withdrawal of troops in the region. Later, Central moved Supreme Court against the stay, which quashed the Higher Court ruling.
5) Army deployment in West Bengal: Mamata Banerjee had accused the Centre of deploying the Army at toll plazas in West Bengal without informing the state government. The Chief Minister, convening a press conference, described it as “unprecedented” and “a very serious situation worse than Emergency”. PTI had reported that the Chief Minister had refused to leave her office in Kolkata till the armymen were withdrawn from toll plazas, and had asked whether it was an “Army coup”, drawing sharp reaction from the Centre.
Later, the Army had clarified that the exercise was in collaboration with state police. Later, the Army had released four different letters that it had written to different authorities in regards with exercise.
6) Live Telecast of PM’s speech: Mamata Banerjee government had opposed the centre over the issue of airing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech live at colleges and universities on September 11, 2017 on the occasion of the 125th anniversary of Swami Vivekananda’s address to the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago. “The Centre cannot do it without informing or without taking the concurrence of the state government concerned,” Partha Chatterjee, state education minister, was quoted as saying by Indianexpress.com. Banerjee government had directed all the universities and colleges under its jurisdiction to ignore the directive of University Grants Commission (UGC) to arrange live telecast of Modi’s speech on that day.
7) Rohingya issue: Banerjee had adoptedg a position contrary to that of the Centre. “We do support the @UN appeal to help the Rohingya people. We believe that all commoners are not terrorists. We are really concerned,” Banerjee had tweeted. While on the other hand, the Centre had termed migration inside Indian border as illegal in Supreme Court. As per an report in the Indian Express, the Centre said, “As far as Rohingyas are concerned, they claimed to have entered from Myanmar using porous border between India and Myanmar. The total number of such illegal immigrants into our country would be more than 40,000 approximately as on date”.