Protests lined up as PM Modi lands in Kolkata for two-day Bengal visit

Modi, who will be in Kolkata on Saturday and Sunday, is scheduled to attend the function marking the 150th anniversary of Kolkata Port Trust on January 12 and other programmes.

Published: 11th January 2020 02:49 PM  |   Last Updated: 11th January 2020 04:27 PM   |  A+A-

SFI members protest against PM Narendra Modi's visit to Kolkata. (Photo | ANI/Twitter)


KOLKATA: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Saturday arrived in the city on a two day-visit amidst protests against Citizenship Amendment Act outside the airport.

Modi was greeted by Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, state municipal affairs minister Firhad Hakim, West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh and other senior BJP leaders.

Modi, who will be in Kolkata on Saturday and Sunday, is scheduled to attend the function marking the 150th anniversary of Kolkata Port Trust on January 12 and other programmes.

From the airport, he is likely to take a helicopter to Royal Calcutta Turf Club(RCTC) and from there go to the Raj Bhawan.

Hundreds of protesters staged demonstrations at the crossing outside airport gate number one despite strict security.

Demonstrations were also held in various other parts of the state against Modi's visit to the city during the day.

Trinamool Congress students' wing, TMCP, began their 'dharna' against CAA, 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 PM in the evening.

The Left Front activists staged protests on Saturday against the new citizenship law in various parts of North 24 Parganas district.

The PM'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 PM lands in the evening in the city.

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"We will continue our protest unless and until the Act is withdrawn.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.

Youth Congress activists assembled outside Kolkata airport and shouted slogans against Modi demanding that he should not be allowed to land in the city.

SFI activists assembled near Jadavpur University, Golpark, College Street, Hatibagan and Esplanade with placards which read 'Students Against Fascism.'

"We protest the visit of the Prime Minister who is behind the discriminatory Citizenship (Amendment) Act, National Register of Citizens and the attack by saffron forces in Jawaharlal Nehru University campus," SFI leader Debraj Debnath said.

"We are against the visit of Modi, Amit Shah and other BJP leaders who are dividing people to Bengal".

Several organisations, both political and civil, have planned protest rallies across the city against the Citizensip Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC).

During his visit, Modi will attend sesquicentenary celebrations of Kolkata Port Trust and hold a meeting with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

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 Banerjee'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.

The prime minister 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 Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the proposed countrywide National Register of Citizens.

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