New Delhi: The face-off between West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banrejee and BJP national president Amit Shah over the Assam citizen list continued for a second day straight on Wednesday. Shah dared Banrejee to have him arrested amid buzz that he had denied permission to hold a rally in the state.
Soon, Kolkata Police quickly put out a statement, declaring they have already given permission for the rally and were again issuing a clarification in view of the “unwarranted speculation in social media”.
Some unwarranted speculation in social media about denial of permission to a political party on 11 August has come to our notice.
It is to clarify that on request permission for meeting has already been granted.
— Kolkata Police (@KolkataPolice) August 1, 2018
“It does not matter whether I get permission or not, I will definitely go to Kolkata. If the state government wants, it can get me arrested,” said Amit Shah, who plans to hold a rally on August 11.
Banerjee, who is on a three-day visit to Delhi and is busy meeting opposition party leaders as well as BJP critics and in-house rebels, told NDTV, “Amit Shah can go wherever he wants. Who is stopping him.”
This comes a day after Mamata Banerjee’s scathing attack on the BJP over the National Register of Citizens in Assam, which left out the names of 40 lakh people. The Bengal chief minister on Tuesday warned that the move will lead to a “civil war and bloodbath”.
“They (BJP) are trying to divide the people. The situation cannot be tolerated. There will be a civil war, bloodbath in the country,” said Banerjee.
Her remark drew a sharp reaction from Shah, who said he was “stunned” and asked her, “What about the rights of Indians?” Alleging that Banerjee saw a “vote bank” in illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, Shah today said, “It (NRC) will be implemented to the last full stop and comma.”
The draft National Register of Citizens (NRC) – an exercise to identify illegal immigrants from Bangladesh – has triggered a massive political controversy with opposition parties accusing the BJP of trying to drive out people for political reasons.