Kolkata: Stating that democracy in India is under threat from the BJP-led government at the Centre, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Monday wrote to chief ministers and senior leaders belonging to opposition parties urging to them to unite and chalk out a plan to “save the country”.
Banerjee described the current situation arising out of protests in the country against the Citizenship Amendment Act and the proposed NRC as “serious” and urged all the non-BJP parties to come together and rise against the “draconian regime” of the central government.
Sources in the ruling TMC, of which Banerjee is the supremo, said that the letter was sent to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah among others.
Her appeal to the opposition parties came on a day when BJP working president JP Nadda held a rally in the city and accused TMC of “misleading” masses on the Citizenship Amendment Act.
At the rally, held in support of CAA, Nadda claimed that Banerjee has always prioritized politics over national interests and pro people policies. “Today, I write this letter to you with grave worries in my mind. The citizens of this country irrespective of caste and creed, particularly the woman and children, farmers, workers and members of scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, OBCs and minorities are in the grip of fear and panic for the Citizenship Amendment Act and the proposed nationwide NRC. The situation is very serious,” Banerjee’s letter said.
“Today, more than ever, we need to rise against this draconian regime in the united manner. I sincerely and honestly request all my senior leaders and all the political outfits to stand up against this in a concerted and united manner; let us create peaceful and meaningful opposition to these unholy efforts by the Centre and save Indias democratic soul,” she added.
Referring to the police crackdown in Jamia Millia Islamia University, Banerjee said, “The youths and students have risen against and are facing the barbaric and brute force of the Centre. The entire world is watching us. Let us all rise to save India of your forefathers and founders.
“Let us all meet and chalk out a concerted plan to protest and save our democracy,” the letter, which was made available to the media, said.
She said protests are already being organised by opposition parties wherever they have a meaningful presence. “I appeal to all of you that at this juncture, let us all work together. Opposition unity must be on one platform. The ruling party is bulldozing this democratic movement by using state machineries and brute force,” her letter said.
Banerjee, who has been a strident critic of the BJP and resolutely against the CAA and the proposed NRC, said that leaders of opposition or not being allowed to visit disturbed areas.
A TMC delegation was stopped at the Lucknow airport when they attempted to visit Uttar Pradesh, the letter added.