It is the culture of Bengal to extend courtsey even to enemies: Mamata Banerjee

10:37 AM Jan 15, 2020 | Team Udayavani |
Kolkata: Facing flak from opposition parties for meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his recent visit to the state, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Tuesday without naming anyone said it is the culture of Bengal to welcome and extend courtesy to guests and "even enemies". Banerjee lashed out at the saffron camp over the amended Citizenship Act saying it is a "ploy" to take away citizenship from those who hold it legally and give it to foreigners who have funded the saffron party. The TMC supremo criticised BJP for not allowing her party's delegation to enter Uttar Pradesh during anti-CAA protests, Guhawati during anti-NRC protests and Delhi's JNU campus and said she "even extends courtesy to enemies". "This is the culture of Bengal is to extend courtesies to those who come to the state. We know how to respect our guests, we show courtesy even to our enemies. But you people (BJP) didn't allow our party leaders to enter Jammu, Uttar Pradesh, Guhawati and JNU," she said seemingly referring to Modi's recent visit to Kolkata and the turning away of TMC delegations from various places. She had met Modi at the Raj Bhavan during the prime minister's visit and was seen sharing the stage with him at a function, which drew criticism from the opposition. Banerjee, who is a strident critic of the BJP and has opposed the contentious piece of legislation from the beginning, said those helping the party get foreign funds and turn black money into white are being given citizenship. "Is this Act a ploy to take away the citizenship of those legal citizens and giving it to those foreigners who have funded the BJP? This is the game plan of BJP," she said speaking from the dharna manch of the Trinamool Congress Chatra Parishad, her party's student wing against the CAA, here. Apparently referring to the killing of Bengali labourers at Kulgam in Kashmir by terrorists in October 2019, the TMC supremo said the people of other states face no threats and are safe in Bengal. "How are Bengali migrant workers being treated in other states? Some of them were brutally murdered in Kashmir. How can you discriminate them like this? So many migrants work in Bengal but we do not do it," she said. Hitting out at BJP for "frequently comparing India with Pakistan", Banerjee wondered whether the party has any "tacit understanding with Pakistan" "Do they (BJP) have any understanding with Pakistan or are they brand ambassadors of Pakistan ? Why do they keep on advertising about them?" she said.

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