Kolkata: The ruling Trinamool Congress students wing as well as Left Front activists have begun their protest separately against the amended Citizenship Act in various parts of West Bengal ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's two-day visit to the state starting on Saturday.
Trinamool Congress students' wing, TMCP, began their dharna against Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR) on Friday at Rani Rashmoni Road in Kolkata.
TMC supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is scheduled to spend an hour with the TMCP agitators during the day. She is scheduled to meet the prime minister in the evening.
The Left Front activists staged protests on Saturday against the new citizenship law in various parts of North 24 Parganas district.
West Bengal: Students' Federation of India protests against PM Narendra Modi's visit to Kolkata. PM Modi will be on a two-day official visit to Kolkata from today, where he will take part in various programmes including 150th anniversary celebrations of Kolkata Port Trust. #CAA pic.twitter.com/F0crHgW6hc
— ANI (@ANI) January 11, 2020
Modi's visit comes at a time when West Bengal has been witnessing widespread protests against the contentious Citizenship Act.
Left Front activists, carrying placards with 'Go Back Modi' written on it, took out rallies at Dum Dum area – which is just 1.5 kilometres from the airport, where the prime minister lands in the evening in the city.
"We will continue our protest unless and until the Act is withdrawn. We don't want Narendra Modi to come to Kolkata as it will vitiate the atmosphere of our state," a protester said.
Several organisations, both political and civil, have planned protest rallies across the city against the CAA and the NRC.
During his visit, Modi will attend sesquicentenary celebrations of Kolkata Port Trust and hold a meeting with Mamata. Apart from attending scheduled programmes, the prime minister will hold a one-on-one meeting with Banerjee at the Raj Bhavan on Saturday evening.
The meeting assumes significance as the new citizenship law has emerged as the latest flashpoint in the state, with Mamata's Trinamool Congress opposing the contentious legislation tooth and nail, and the BJP pressing for its implementation.
The prime minister will dedicate to the nation four refurbished heritage buildings in Kolkata – the Old Currency Building, the Belvedere House, the Metcalfe House and the Victoria Memorial Hall.
The Culture Ministry has renovated these iconic galleries and refurbished them with new exhibitions, while curating the old galleries.
Modi will also participate in the sesquicentenary celebrations of the Kolkata Port Trust on Saturday and Sunday.
The prime minister and the chief minister will share dais at the programme at Netaji Indoor Stadium. West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar will also be present.
He is likely to stay at Belur Math, the headquarters of Ramakrishna Mission, on Saturday night. The West Bengal administration has made elaborate security arrangements for the visit.
Congress workers and some students organisations are also scheduled to hold protests across the city against the CAA and the proposed countrywide NRC.
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Updated Date: Jan 11, 2020 15:51:48 IST