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WB CM Mamata Banerjee Accuses Central Government of Misleading Voters with False Promises of Citizenship under CAA

Gopiballavpur, May 19: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has sharply criticized the Narendra Modi-led central government for allegedly misleading the public about granting citizenship under the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), said a PTI report. During election rallies in Gopiballavpur and Daspur, Banerjee described the recent issuance of citizenship certificates to 14 individuals as a political maneuver aimed at swaying voters ahead of the elections.

Banerjee asserted that the BJP’s claim of granting citizenship is a deceptive tactic, warning that those applying for citizenship could be branded as foreigners and imprisoned. “This is a lie orchestrated by the BJP. Do not believe their advertisements claiming that migrant Hindu and Sikh communities can apply for citizenship under the CAA. You are already bona fide citizens, and applying could lead to your expulsion and imprisonment,” she said.

The Chief Minister also criticized sections of the media for publishing advertisements featuring the Prime Minister’s photograph and the BJP’s achievements without proper attribution. She questioned the ethics of these publications, suggesting they are complicit in spreading false information.

The first set of citizenship certificates under the CAA was issued to 14 people on Wednesday, following the notification of rules for granting Indian nationality to persecuted non-Muslim migrants from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan who arrived before December 31, 2014. The CAA, enacted in December 2019, faced a delay of over four years before the rules were issued in March.

Banerjee challenged senior BJP leaders, including Prime Minister Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, to apply for citizenship under the CAA if they are so confident about its benefits. She accused the BJP of planning to strip tribals and other backward communities of their rights, using the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) to sow discord among these groups.

During a rally in support of TMC’s Jhargram Lok Sabha candidate Kalipada Soren, Banerjee emphasized her administration’s commitment to protecting tribal land rights and criticized the BJP for allegedly conspiring to remove tribal communities from their lands. She pledged to fight against any such efforts until her last breath.

Banerjee also accused the BJP of fostering tensions between Adivasis and Kurmis and described the party as anti-tribal, referencing the imprisonment of former Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren. She promised that if the opposition INDIA bloc comes to power, they would scrap the NRC and enact laws to protect tribal land rights permanently.

In her speech at Daspur, Banerjee urged voters to reject the BJP and CPI(M), highlighting her government’s efforts to bring prosperity to the Junglemahal region since 2011. She accused the BJP of trying to remove migrant laborers from West Bengal from the voter list and encouraged them to participate in the elections to safeguard their voting rights.

Banerjee’s comments come as the final phase of polling approaches on June 1, with counting scheduled for June 4. The Chief Minister’s strong statements underscore the high stakes of the upcoming elections and the contentious nature of the CAA and NRC issues.

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