Ready for talks with PM Modi, but first withdraw CAA, says Mamata Banerjee

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Updated: January 28, 2020 8:05:33 PM

The TMC supremo also slammed the saffron party for making references to Pakistan, which she said, is a ploy to divert public attention from issues like economic slowdown and growing unemployment.

"We are ready for talks but first withdraw this Citizenship Amendment Act," Banerjee, a staunch critic of the BJP, said addressing a protest programme against CAA through paintings.Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the union government is yet to convene all party meeting on CAA and PM Modi had clearly said last month that his government has not discussed any proposals regarding pan India NRC, she said.

West Bengal Chief minister Mamata Banerjee Tuesday said she is ready for talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue of Citizenship Amendment Act but the Centre has to first withdraw the contentious law. Banerjee, a staunch critic of the BJP, said protesting against the decisions of the Centre does not make opposition parties anti-national and iterated that she will not implement CAA, NRC or NPR in the state.

“It is good if he (prime minister) is really interested in opening a dialogue on the CAA. They (BJP) must call all the political parties. They did not call an all-party meeting before taking a decision on Kashmir and CAA. Before taking the decision, they should have consulted all the parties.

“If the Centre is ready for talks, then it should first repeal CAA. If they repeal it only then can we talk with an open mind. The prime minister needs to restore confidence of the countrymen. He needs to assure us that CAA will be repealed, and both NPR and NRC will be dropped,” she said while talking to reporters at a protest programme against CAA through paintings. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the union government is yet to convene all party meeting on CAA and PM Modi had clearly said last month that his government has not discussed any proposals regarding pan India NRC, she said.

The TMC supremo also slammed the saffron party for making references to Pakistan, which she said, is a ploy to divert public attention from issues like economic slowdown and growing unemployment. “Why do they glorify Pakistan every time? I am proud of my country. Is this a BJP ploy to glorify Pakistan? I don’t know whether BJP has become brand ambassadors of Pakistan as they always talk of it and less of Hindustan,” Banerjee said hitting out at the BJP.

The West Bengal Assembly on Monday passed a resolution demanding immediate repeal of the CAA and dropping plans for a pan-India NRC and NPR, with Banerjee calling the new citizenship law “against the Constitution and humanity”.

Reacting to Banerjee’s statement, West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh wondered what she and TMC were doing when the bill was placed in Parliament for discussion. “What was she (Banerjee) and her party doing when the bill was placed in Parliament for discussion? Why did they not place their views then?” Ghosh said. West Bengal became the fourth state after Left-ruled Kerala, and Punjab and Rajasthan, where the Congress is in power, to have passed a resolution against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. The state assembly had on September 6, 2019, passed a resolution against the NRC.

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