Protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act and the proposed National Register of Citizens may have gone on the backburner because of the coronavirus pandemic. But BJP leader and Union Home Minister Amit Shah today firmly revived the issue, warning chief minister Mamata Banerjee that her opposition to citizenship for refugees from erstwhile Bangladesh would cost her her seat of power in West Bengal.
"Why are you opposing citizenship for these refugees. People of Bengal want to know," Amit Shah said at his virtual rally today were he virtually kicked off the BJP's campaign for Assembly election in the state next year.
"I want to tell Mamata Didi, your opposition to CAA will prove costly. When the ballot boxes open, then you will see that Bengal's people have turned you into a political refugee. You opposition to CAA will prove very costly for you."
"I saw Mamata's face that day. She was fuming and she was red-faced. She was so angry, she forgot civility. I have never seen anyone so angry before. I want to know what wrong the refugees have done to her," added Mr Shah. He has had Bengal on top of his acquisition list for years.
Last year, the BJP won 18 of Bengals 42 parliamentary seats, indicating the party had made serious inroads in the state.
Mamata Banerjee's government has not only passed a resolution against the CAA, it also stopped the exercise of National Population Register.
Along with the Congress, the Bengal Chief Minister has been drumming up support against the law, contending that it, along with the NPR and the NRC or the National Register of Citizens, will be used to harass Muslims or even render them stateless.
Taken together, the CAA, NRC and the NPR unleashed a storm of protests across the country last year, before the coronavirus outbreak put all on hold. Before the protests wound up, the NRC, which was supposed to be rolled out across the country, was put on hold by the Centre.