KOLKATA: Taking a dig at Narendra Modi for “talking all the time about Pakistan ”, Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee on Friday asked the PM if he was “a Pakistani ambassador”. She also questioned BJP’s constant use of Pakistan to silence its critics.
“Why do you always compare our country with Pakistan?” Mamata said, appearing to directly address PM Modi. “Don’t you feel ashamed comparing the world’s largest democracy with Pakistan all the time?”
She said it was time Modi and BJP stopped employing “Pakistan rhetoric” to silence political opponents. “He (Modi) talks about Pakistan all the time. Why? Is he their ambassador? We are interested in Hindustan. When someone asks for jobs, he says ‘go to Pakistan’. You are India’s PM, but keep talking of Pakistan.”
Mamata’s 4.5km march from Siliguri‘s Mallaguri neighbourhood till Baghajatin Park to protest against CAA came 10 days after BJP held a rally here. Another anti-CAA rally in the hills is scheduled for January 22.
“The BJP government has made all of us feel insecure,” the CM said, alluding to the uncertainty among people over “issues” like the cut-off year and documents needed as proof of citizenship.
Mamata accused some Union ministers of adding to the confusion. “They are speaking in many voices on CAA, NPR and NRC. The purpose (of such talk) is to spread confusion and scare the people.”
On CAA, she said it was an attempt by the BJP government to “fool people who are already Indian citizens”.
“Haven’t you voted for so many years?” she asked the multi-ethnic and multi-religious gathering. “The Bengal government has already given legal recognition to refugee colonies. You already have an address. Now, the Union government wants you to produce your parents’ documents. Are you going to accept that?”
The CM then referred to the host of documents (voter’s ID, PAN, Aadhaar) that a citizen is required to link with bank accounts and mobile phone numbers. “They are now saying Aadhaar will not do, PAN will not do. What does the government want from us, a BJP amulet?” she said before urging the crowd to take an “anti-CAA-NRC pledge”.