PM Modi's Kolkata visit greeted by intense protests

PM Modi's Kolkata visit greeted by intense protests

Demonstrators hold a banner and placards during a protest against the visit of India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the state and against a new citizenship law, in Kolkata. (Reuters photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s two-day visit to Kolkata started with protests in several parts of the city with protesters waving black flags and chanting “go back Modi” slogans. Apart from slogan-shouting several protest marches were held against him in the city and st some places his effigy was burnt.

The student’s wing of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) also held a sit-in demonstration in central Kolkata against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) ahead of the Prime Minister’s arrival.

Upon his arrival, the Prime Minister was greeted by state’s Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim, Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar and several state BJP leaders including state BJP president Dilip Ghosh. Although West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was not at the Airport to greet the Prime Minister the two later held a meeting at Raj Bhavan.

Even before the Prime Minister’s arrival hundreds of protesters with black flags and banners stating ‘go back Modi’ gathered at the gate number one of the Airport. A large police contingent was deployed at the spot to prevent any untoward incident. Police put up several barricades to keep the protesters at bay.

As the Prime Minister boarded a helicopter from the airport to set out for the Royal Calcutta Turf club protesters including hundreds of students and supporters of the Left Front started gathering at a distance from the helipad. They started shouting slogans as soon as the Prime Minister’s helicopter landed.

When the Prime Minister’s convoy started heading towards Raj Bhavan the protesters started gathering on the flank of a nearby flyover and waved black flags at him.

A large number of students including members of Left-leaning students organisation and members of SFI hit the streets in protest against the Prime Minister’s visit. Protests demonstrations by students were held at Esplanade, Jadavpur University and Golpark area of the city. Earlier in the day protest demonstrations were also held near the Raj Bhavan.

After the meeting with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the Prime Minister dedicated four renovated heritage buildings in Kolkata to the nation. The building is the Old Currency Building, the Metcalfe House, the Belvedere House and the Victoria Memorial Hall. The buildings were renovated by Ministry of Culture and new exhibits were added to existing galleries.

The Prime Minister’s visit comes at a time when Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has been at loggerheads with the Centre over the CAA, NRC and NPR.

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