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West Bengal Governor Writes to Mamata Banerjee over UN Referendum Demand

Banerjee, while addressing a press conference today, went back on her earlier statement seeking a United Nations-monitored referendum on CAA and NRC.

Sujit Nath | News18

Updated:December 20, 2019, 9:20 PM IST
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West Bengal Governor Writes to Mamata Banerjee over UN Referendum Demand
West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar interacts with the media at Suri Circuit House in Birbhum district. (PTI Photo)

Kolkata: West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Friday asked Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to withdraw her ‘United Nations-monitored referendum’ statement on CAA and NRC as he felt that this will dent the democratic fabric of the country.

Banerjee, while addressing a press conference today, went back on her earlier statement seeking a United Nations-monitored referendum on CAA and NRC. “I never said UN referendum. I said mass vote. I said there should be opinion from Indian experts and from human rights organisations to decide the fate of CAA and NRC.”

Dhankhar’s remarks came after Banerjee on Thursday had challenged the BJP and Amit Shah to go for a referendum monitored by the UN.

In a letter to Banerjee, the Governor said, “It is with utmost pain that I am writing this communication to you as regards to your following statement, which is being widely reported -- Let there be a national organisation like United Nations or National Human Rights Commission hold a referendum to see how many people are in favour or against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act -- Immediately after your statement, several well-meaning people had expressed their serious concern to me and to contain potential damage. I was constrained to publicly urge you to withdraw your reported statement. With your profound experience in public life, you will agree that we must never compromise our nationalism and the nation must come before anything else.”

“I am sure that your statement has the potential to incalculable damage to the letter and spirit of our Constitution. I find it both unconstitutional and not in consonance with your stature and high office you hold. I earnestly appeal you to seriously ponder over the situation and withdraw the statement so that our democratic fabric is no longer dented,” the letter reads.

Dhankhar also asked Mamata to brief him about the why it felt necessary stay National Population Register (NPR) across the state. “I seek to draw your attention to the communication bearing number 393-Home (NPR)/O/Cen-02/19 dated 16 December, 2019, wherein it is indicated that all activities regarding the preparation/updation of NPR are being stayed in West Bengal and that no activity regarding NPR may be taken without prior clearance from the government of West Bengal. Surprisingly, this communication has not been forwarded to me and has come to my notice from it being circulated in public domain,” the letter read.

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