- Mamata Banerjee said she'd fight against citizenship law and NRC alone
- She accused Left and the Congress of playing "dirty politics"
- Opposition meet called by Sonia Gandhi on January 13 in Delhi
In a shock move, Mamata Banerjee distanced herself from the campaign by a united opposition against the citizenship law and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and said her Trinamool Congress party will not participate in a meeting called by Congress president Sonia Gandhi in Delhi on Monday.
The Bengal Chief Minister accused the Left and the Congress of playing "dirty politics" and said she would fight against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and NRC alone.
"Due to the politics of opposition in state, in contradiction with their all-India stance, I have decided not to attend the anti-CAA and NRC meeting on January 13," said Mamata Banerjee, speaking at a special session of the Bengal assembly.
"I was the first to launch an andolan (movement) against CAA NRC," she said. "What the Left and the Congress are doing in the name of the CAA-NRC is not a movement but vandalism."
She asked leaders of other opposition in Delhi to "forgive her" for not attending the meeting as "it was me who had mooted the idea."
"But what happened yesterday in the state it is no more possible for me to attend the meeting anymore," she said.
She was referring to clashes between her party men and Left workers during a strike called by Left trade unions, especially in Malda's Sujapur.
A video from Sujapur that is being circulated on social media shows uniformed cops smashing car windscreens with their rifle butts.
Ms Banerjee said her fight against the CAA would continue and she would never allow this law and the NRC in Bengal.
The CPM asked the Chief Minister to bring a resolution against the CAA and NRC in the assembly, to which Ms Banerjee said she had already voiced her opposition before and did not feel the need to pass a resolution now.
"You don't need to tell me how to fight CAA," the Chief Minister declared, shouting above the roar of protests from the CPM and Congress.
On Wednesday, Ms Banerjee had attacked the Left and the Congress for their support to the 24-hour nationwide strike by trade unions. "Those who don't have political existence are calling strikes," she had scoffed amid clashes between Trinamool workers and Left members trying to enforce the strike.
The Left in turn accused the Chief Minister of doublespeak and not backing the strike though it was dedicated to issues she had raised too.
Before coming to power in Bengal, Ms Banerjee led many agitations against the Left regime. She has also been one of the fiercest critics of the Narendra Modi-led BJP government.