West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said she is willing to talk with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the new law that empowers persecuted religious minorities from neighbouring Islamic states who sought refuge in India, only if the centre first withdraws the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
Banerjee said protesting against the decisions of the centre doesn't make opposition parties anti-national and iterated that she will not implement CAA, NRC or NPR in the state.
"It is good that the prime minister is ready for talks but the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) must be revoked first. They (Centre) did not call an all-party meeting before taking a decision on Kashmir and CAA.
"We are ready for talks but first withdraw this Citizenship Amendment Act," Banerjee said while addressing a protest programme against CAA through paintings.
The West Bengal assembly had on Monday passed a resolution against the CAA, becoming the fourth state after Kerala, Punjab and Rajasthan, to do so.
The state assembly had earlier passed a resolution against the NRC. Last month, she also suspended work on the National Population Register (NPR).
The Trinamool Congress (TMC) boss who relies on migrant Bangladeshi votes for her party’s success, has been at the forefront of anti-CAA protests in Bengal.
She also justified her party’s opposition to the new central legislation saying that the Congress, Left parties and students have also staged protests against the amended citizenship Act which bestows Indian citizenship on non-Muslims from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh who arrived in India on or before 31 December 2014.
On Monday, she had urged Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Congress to put aside “narrow political differences” and jointly fight the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government at the Centre.