On Saturday, PM Modi will dedicate to the nation four refurbished heritage buildings in Kolkata. (Photo Credit: News Nation)
Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to West Bengal, state capital Kolkata witnessed anti-government protests on Saturday. From Howrah Bridge to College Square, several protesters raised ‘Modi go back’ slogans. Members of CPI(M) held unique black balloons agitation at the Howrah Bridge as a sign of protest against PM Modi’s arrival in Kolkata. At College Square in heart of the ‘city of joy’, some activists were seen holding black placards with ‘Narendra Modi go back’ written in white paint. In neighbouring Durgapur, activists from the Socialist Unity Centre of India (Communist) also protested against PM Modi's two days visit of West Bengal with the Slogan ‘Unwanted Guest, Modi go back.
PM Modi was earlier scheduled to arrive at 5 pm at the Kolkata airport and go straight to the Old Currency Building in central Kolkata for an official programme. But as per the changed schedule, he will now arrive by an Indian Air Force flight at 4 pm, and then he would be flown in a helicopter to the city's Race Course, reported IANS. The report also said that there could be last-minute changes in Modi’s schedule in view of intensifying protests in the city and the rest of Bengal on the issue new the Citizenship Act and the recent violence in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU).
In a special gesture, PM Modi also tweeted in Bangla about his visit. In two tweets, PM Modi said that he was excited about his Bengal trip. “I am excited to be in West Bengal today and tomorrow. I am delighted to be spending time at the Ramakrishna Mission and that too when we mark Swami Vivekananda’s Jayanti. There is something special about that place,” PM Modi said in a tweet. “Yet, there will be a void too! The person who taught me the noble principle of ‘Jan Seva Hi Prabhu Seva’, the venerable Swami Atmasthananda Ji will not be there. It is unimaginable to be at the Ramakrishna Mission and not have his august presence!,” the Prime Minister said in another tweet.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is one of the strongest critics of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR). She has been holding protests off late across the state and assured the people that she will not allow anyone to snatch their rights.
On Saturday, PM Modi will dedicate to the nation four refurbished heritage buildings in Kolkata. These are 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.
PM Modi will also participate in the sesquicentenary celebrations of the Kolkata Port Trust on Saturday and Sunday. He will be handing over a cheque of Rs 501 crore towards the final installment to meet the deficit of pension fund of retired and existing employees of the Kolkata Port Trust, the statement said.