Saturday, April 17, 2021

India has rich culture, heritage; why compare nation with Pak: Mamata asks PM

Siliguri (WB), January 3: Hitting out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for “frequently comparing India with Pakistan”, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday wondered if he was an “ambassador of Hindustan or the neighbouring country”.
Banerjee, while addressing an anti-citizenship law rally in Siliguri, said it was a shame that people were being asked to prove their nationality, even after 70 years of Independence.
“India is a big country with a rich culture and heritage. Why does the PM regularly compare our nation with Pakistan? Are you the prime minister of India or the ambassador of Pakistan?
“Why do you have to refer to Pakistan in every issue? You (Modi) should rather speak of Hindustan. We don’t want to be Pakistan. We love Hindustan,” she said.
Modi had on Thursday dared the Congress and its allies to raise their voice against Pakistan’s atrocities on its minorities for the past 70 years.
Banerjee, who is also the TMC supremo, said the prime minister and his party spoke of Pakistan every now and then to divert attention from the prevailing economic crisis and unemployment in India.
“If someone says give me job as I have no work, PM says go to Pakistan. If someone says we don’t have any industries, he says go to Pakistan. Pakistan can talk about themselves as much as they want, we should talk about India, this is our motherland, all of us were born here…” she said.
The TMC boss vowed to continue her protests till the amended citizenship Act was repealed.
She accused the BJP of “deliberately” creating confusion over the implementation of National Register of Citizens (NRC), saying its leaders have been making contradictory statements on the issue.
“On one hand, the prime minister says there will be no NRC; on the other, the union home minister and other BJP ministers claim the exercise will be conducted across the country,” she added.
Talking about recent clashes over the citizenship law in Uttar Pradesh, which claimed several lives, Banerjee, in a veiled attack on her counterpart Yogi Adityanath, said, “Those that cannot rule are governing major states.”
Dubbing her fight against the amended law as the “second war of Independence”, she said, “They (BJP) just know how to divide the nation on the basis of religion. But my religion is to defend the freedom of people. We have to save the country from bigotry,” she added. (PTI)