Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who congratulated her Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal whose Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) was poised to retain power in the national capital following Saturday's assembly elections, said people have rejected the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
"I have congratulated Arvind Kejriwal. People have rejected BJP. Only development will work. Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR) will be rejected," said Banerjee, according to ANI.
The firebrand Bengal CM who also heads the Trinamool Congress has been a trenchant critic of the citizenship law and the NRC and last month stopped work on the NPR in her state.
She has been at the forefront of anti-CAA protests in Bengal and has gone to record to say that she would not implement the CAA and the NRC. The CAA fast-tracks Indian citizenship for non-Muslim migrants from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan who arrived in India on or before December 31, 2014. Like many other opposition leaders, Banerjee claims that that the CAA is divisive and discriminatory because it makes religion a test of citizenship.
The BJP ran a hyper-nationalistic election campaign in Delhi where it deployed a phalanx of top leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union home minister Amit Shah and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and other Union ministers while the AAP ran its campaign on strength of its development work and policies.
Mamata Banerjee faces a tough challenge from the BJP in the Bengal assembly elections scheduled for next year. The BJP which won 18 of the state's 42 Lok Sabha seats in the general elections has been on a relentless drive to increase its footprints in Bengal.