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Why does Narendra Modi have problem with peaceful protests: West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee

KOLKATA: Disapproving of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s description of Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh protests as one “combining political design with anti-national intent”, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday wondered why somebody should have problems with “peaceful, democratic” protests.

She also accused the BJP of encouraging division between people.

“If somebody is organising a democratic movement at someplace, then if it is peaceful, what is the problem? The Supreme Court has also said such protests have to be peaceful, there shouldn’t be any disturbance… I cent per cent agree with this,'” Banerjee told the media here.

She said the protestors were also on a sit-in at south Kolkata’s Park Circus maidan. “We never tried to disturb it, because it is their right (to protest)”.

Railing against several Union Ministers and senior BJP leaders “inciting violence” targeted at anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protestors, Banerjee said the BJP was using the government machinery to foement disturbances as part of its Delhi Assembly poll campaign.

“They always encourage division between man and man. They are using the government machinery to foment disturbance in every election and political programme. We don’t take part in a programme with guns, rods,” she said.

However, to terrorise the protestors, at times the police were barging into universities, while “shots were being fired” at women (protestors at Shaheen Bagh), Banerjee added.

“And all the important personalities of BJP, some of them constitutional portfolio holders, if they direcltly speak about firing bullets, then that shows the nation is in great danger.

“Why is BJP so worried? Why they are not playing the political card? I challenge, if they have guts they should play the political card,” she said.

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