Smriti Irani slams Mamata Banerjee over referendum on CAA

Kolkata | Updated on December 20, 2019 Published on December 20, 2019

Union Minister Smriti Irani speaks at an event organised by the West Bengal Hosiery Association   -  Debasish Bhaduri

Union Minister Smriti Irani on Friday slammed West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for seeking a referendum on the Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 (CAA), and said that the Chief Minister’s comments were an “insult to the Indian Parliament”.

Irani pointed out that the Citizenship Amendment Act was passed by both Houses; and Banerjee should apologise for it. “I think no one in the country will agree to her (Banerjee’s) views and she is questioning the legislative passed by the Parliament,” the Union Minister told reporters on the sidelines of a programme organised by the West Bengal Hosiery Association.

According to her, the government will ensure that rights of all the citizens will be protected and CAA does not strip the right of any Indian. Statements from the Chief Minister, she said, are an attack on the democratic structure of the country.

“I hope that strict action will be taken by the perpetrators of violence,” Irani said.

‘Did not say referendum’

Drawing flak from many quarters for her “referendum” comments, the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee apparently seems to have rolled back the statement now.

Also read: Go for UN-monitored referendum on CAA, NRC: Mamata’s dares Centre

During a public rally in the city on Thursday, the Chief Minister sought a United Nations-monitored referendum on the government’s new citizenship law.

“It should go for a United Nations-monitored referendum on Citizenship Amendment Act and NRC. If they lose this mass vote, then they should step down,” Banerjee had said at her fourth rally, in as many days.

During a press meet at her party headquarters, the Chief Minister said, she was only seeking an “opinion poll”. She denied having made the “referendum” comment. "I did not say referendum. I said gana vote (public opinion). . I meant an opinion poll overseen by experts like the Human Rights Commission. I have full faith on my country and its people. I want an opinion poll on CAA and NRC," she said.

The Chief Minister meanwhile announced continuous agitation programs across the state beginning Monday demanding withdrawal of CAA. There will, however, be no protests on Christmas.

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Published on December 20, 2019
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