West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today sharpened her attack on the BJP over the draft National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam, accusing the party of playing vote-bank politics, while also warning that the issue will “destroy” India’s relationship with Bangladesh. She said only one per cent of the 40 lakh residents, whose names are missing from the draft NRC, could be infiltrators, but people are being “harassed” in the name of infiltrators.
She said she has appealed to all opposition parties to send their delegation to Assam. The TMC chief said she has also urged former BJP leader Yashwant Sinha to visit the state. She said India has very good relations with Bangladesh. “The NRC will destroy relationship between India and Bangladesh. Out of 40 lakh people whose names are not in the list of NRC, only one per cent could be illegal infiltrators. But the BJP is trying to show that all those not included (in NRC) are infiltrators,” she told reporters at the Parliament.
Yesterday, she had alleged that the NRC exercise in Assam was done with a “political motive” to divide people and warned that it would lead to bloodbath and a civil war in the country. “Bangladesh is not a terrorist country. After Independence, many people from Pakistan came to Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab. From Bangladesh too, people came to Tripura, West Bengal, Bihar and many other states. They are not infiltrators or terrorists. Is it a crime that Bangladesh and we (West Bengal) share the same mother tongue? They (the Centre) think, anybody who speaks Bangla is a Bangladeshi” she said.
Her comments come in the backdrop of Assam government publishing the draft NRC on July 30. The draft excludes 40 lakh people from the list. “The BJP is playing vote bank politics. The NRC will affect the whole world. Managing the borders is a responsibility of the Centre,” she said.
“Central forces see how many infiltrators are crossing into the country. But in the name of infiltrators, they (the Centre) are harassing people. I have appealed to all opposition parties to send their delegation to Assam. I have also urged Yashwant Sinha to go to Assam,” she said.