Kolkata, Dec 14 : In an apparent appeal to the minorities, senior West Bengal minister Firhad Hakim on Saturday urged them not to strengthen the BJP in the state by fomenting 'lawlessness'.
Hakim, a prominent Muslim face of the Mamata Banerjee-led government and the ruling Trinamool Congress, said the fight against NRC (National Register of Citizens) and CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) is not a "fight between Hindus and Muslims".
"Don't strengthen the BJP in Bengal by fomenting lawlessness. The fight against NRC and CAA are not fight between Hindus and Muslims.
"If a community creates lawlessness, the majority will get annoyed. That in turn will only benefit the BJP," said Hakim on a day the state witnessed widespread violence as protests against the new citizenship law spread to more areas with mobs torching buses, setting afire railway property and blocking roads and train tracks.
The unrest started on Friday when the protesters vandalised and set fire to railway property and blocked rail tracks and highway.
Hakim referred to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who has said time again that she won't allow NRC or CAA in Bengal.
"Then why should we inconvenience the people of West Bengal? Because then these people will go with (Union Home Minister and BJP President) Amit Shah.
"If 70 per cent of the people side with Amit Shah, the BJP will come to power here. And then everybody will have to bow their head, as is happening in Uttar Pradesh now. Then nobody will be able to take to the streets," he said.
"If you want to protest, join Mamata Banerjee's rallies," he added.