"Citizenship Law Not To Snatch Citizenship...": PM In Kolkata On Day 2

PM Narendra Modi in Kolkata on Day 2: "What you have understood, the opposition doesn't want to understand," PM Modi said on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act at the Belur Math

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses students at Ramakrishna Mission in Kolkata

Highlights

  • In Kolkata, hundreds of people spent the night protesting PM Modi's visit
  • One of the busiest locations for protests was Dharmatala in heart of city
  • Mamata Banerjee, after meeting PM, also joined protests on Saturday
Kolkata: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on the second day of his visit to Kolkata, accused the opposition of spreading misinformation about the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, or CAA. Addressing students at the Belur Math, the headquarters of the Ramakrishna Mission, where he spent the night, PM Modi said, "The citizenship law is not to snatch citizenship, but to give citizenship." PM Modi later inaugurated the celebrations of 150 years of the Kolkata Port Trust. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also met him on Saturday in what she called a courtesy call, and asked him to reconsider enforcing the CAA, the National Register of Citizens and the National Population Register.

Here's your 10-point cheatsheet to this big story:

  1. "What you have understood, the opposition doesn't want to understand. Even after much clarification, those with vested interests are misleading people. The world now knows the atrocities that minorities are facing in Pakistan... Pakistan has to answer why it committed atrocities on minorities for 70 years," PM Narendra Modi said.

  2. "As far as the north-east is concerned, we are proud of the north-east, its culture, its demography, its cuisines... We have ensured that this law (Citizenship Act) does not affect the interests of the people of the north-east," he said.

  3. "My best wishes to you all on Swami Vivekananda's birth anniversary... I'm grateful to the Math's president and the seers for letting me stay with them last night. Belur Math is no less than a pilgrimage, but for me it is always like a homecoming," PM Modi said.

  4. Protests against the amended citizenship law had broken out around noon on Saturday at several places across Kolkata. One of the busiest locations of the protests was Dharmatala in the heart of the city. Most of the protestors there were from the Left and the Congress, and students from universities.

  5. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, after meeting PM Modi, went to join the protest at 5 pm. Some hours later, Ms Banerjee was seen on stage with protesting students. A brief high drama unfolded after some students broke the police barricades. The Chief Minister warned them against creating trouble, following which the protesters backed down.

  6. Some of the students said they were angry over Ms Banerjee meeting PM Modi. The Left and the Congress alleged the Chief Minister is under pressure from the Enforcement Directorate and the Central Bureau of Investigation over chit fund scams, in which some people linked to the Trinamool are accused.

  7. The Trinamool insisted that the meeting between PM Modi and Ms Banerjee as not political. "It was a courtesy call since he has come to Bengal. I told the Prime Minister that people of the state are not accepting the CAA, NRC (National Register of Citizens) and NPR (National Population Register). I asked him to rethink these steps," Ms Banerjee said.

  8. The Chief Minister, one of the strongest critics of the new law, said PM Modi asked her to come for a meeting in Delhi on the issues since he had come to Bengal for other programmes. "I also reminded him that the centre owes around Rs 38,000 crore to Bengal including Rs 7,000 crore as relief for Cyclone Bulbul," Ms Banerjee said.

  9. In today's packed day, PM Modi inaugurated an upgraded ship repair facility of the Cochin-Kolkata unit at Netaji Subhas dry dock, among other programmes.

  10. The Citizenship (Amendment) Act for the first time makes religion the test of citizenship in India. The government says it will help minorities from three Muslim-dominated countries to get citizenship if they fled to India before 2015 because of religious persecution. Critics say it is designed to discriminate against Muslims and violates the secular principles of the constitution.



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