West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today demanded to know why the names of over one crore people did not figure in the first draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam and urged the people here to give them shelter if they were forced to leave the north-eastern state. She added that if there was any problem in Assam, as a neighbouring state, West Bengal was also affected. Banerjee asserted that the move was a ploy of the BJP to drive the Bengalis out of Assam and alleged that not only Bengalis, but those from Bihar were also left out of the NRC. “I am saying this because it hurts us,” she told a public meeting here in Alipurduar district. Asking the people of this north Bengal town to stay alert, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief urged them to give shelter to those left out of the NRC, if they were forced to leave Assam. The NRC of 1951 is being updated in Assam under the Supreme Court’s supervision to identify the original residents of the state in order to check illegal migration. The first draft of the updated NRC was released on December 31 midnight. “I would like to ask my BJP friends that how long will they continue to spread canards, instigate riots and hatch conspiracies. They must learn that the people and the country can prosper only if peace prevails,” Banerjee said, while calling upon the people to foil such attempts of the saffron party.
She alleged that an organisation sponsored by the BJP, RSS and Bajrang Dal was trying to befool and misguide the Adivasi people of the state in the name of spreading education. She charged the BJP with harming the country’s economy by announcing demonetisation and introducing the Goods and Services Tax (GST). Banerjee said the TMC always worked for the people and alleged that the BJP was trying to create divisions among them in the name of religion.
The saffron party had urged the NRC authorities to file a complaint in the Supreme Court against Banerjee for alleging that the Centre was “hatching a conspiracy” to drive out Bengalis from Assam. Assam Police had registered an FIR against the West Bengal chief minister last week for an alleged inflammatory speech to trigger an enmity between the people on the updating of the NRC.