New Delhi: Mamata Banerjee and Mayawati will skip a meeting called by the Congress on Monday to discuss protests over the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) too, is likely to skip the meeting, sources said.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi has called the meeting on Monday to discuss a strategy on protests over the CAA and the NRC.
Mayawati rejects invitation
BSP President Mayawati said her party will not attend the meeting, saying it will ‘demoralize’ her party workers.
“As is well known that despite the BSP support to the Congress-led Rajasthan government from outside, it has been for the second time that BSP MLAs have been made to join their party which is completely wrong” Mayawati tweeted.
“Under such circumstances, the BSP attending the opposition meeting today under the leadership of the Congress will be demoralizing for party workers in Rajasthan. Therefore, the BSP will not attend this meeting,” she said.
However, she made it clear that the BSP is against the CAA and NRC “As it is, the BSP is against CAA/ NRC, etc. It is an appeal to the central government again that it should withdraw this divisive and unconstitutional law. Also, It is very unfortunate to politicize students in JNU and other educational institutions” she added.
AAP not invited
AAP’s Sanjay Singh said: “We have no information about any such meeting. So, it makes no sense to attend a meeting we have no information about.”
“The CAA is a discriminatory and divisive law. The sinister purpose of the law is clear to every patriotic, tolerant and secular Indian: it is to divide the Indian people into religious lines,” Sonia Gandhi said at a meeting of the Congress Working Committee on Monday.
Banerjee rejects invitation
Mamata Banerjee declared on Friday that she would not attend the opposition meeting, referring to clashes during last week’s trade union strike when workers of the Left allegedly attacked those of her Trinamool Congress to enforce the shutdown.
The Bengal Chief Minister stressed she was compelled to take the step even though such a meeting of opposition parties was her suggestion.
“What happened yesterday in the state (during the labour strike) — it is no more possible for me to attend the meeting anymore. 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”.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Act says Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists, Parsis and Jains can become Indian citizens easily if they fled religious persecution in Muslim-dominated neighbours Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. It is the first law to make religion a criterion for citizenship. Critics fear the citizenship law, along with the National Register of Citizens (NRC), will be used as twin tools to target Muslims.