Mamata draws flak from Assam leaders over NRC remarks

Guwahati: A day after publication of the draft National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam, political parties and organisations in Assam slammed West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for trying to politicise the issue, terming her criticism unjustified as the NRC is neither against Bengalis nor Muslims.

Former Chief Minister and Asom Gana Parishad leader Prafulla Kumar Mahanta condemned Banerjee for criticizing the NRC and said that the historical document which was updated and published on Monday was not against the Bengalis and the Muslims.

“Mamata Banerjee is trying to use the issue for political gains, which is not justified,” said Mahanta, who had led the six year long students’ movement from 1979 to 1985, known as Assam movement that sought to detect and deport illegal foreigners in Assam.

He also said that the Assam model of NRC updation can also be used in other states.

Also opposed to granting long term visa to Bangladeshis in India, Mahanta said that as the NRC updation process is on track now and the draft NRC is already published, there is no need for the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2016.

Congress leader and former Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi slammed Banerjee for her statements on the NRC, advising her to rather concentrate on West Bengal politics.

“Mamata Banerjee should not worry about what happens in Assam. She should be bothered with the politics of West Bengal. There is no question of harassment of genuine Indian citizens in the name of NRC updation. We are here to protect each genuine Indian citizens from harassment,” he said.

Assam Health and PWD Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma also attacked the West Bengal Chief Minister over her criticism of the NRC, saying those who know the process would not object to it.

“The people of Assam irrespective of caste, creed and communities have understood the process and that is why there is no protest across the state despite having over 40 lakh names out of the draft NRC. Mamata Banerjee has no right to comment on the NRC in Assam,” said Sarma while adding that the West Bengal government did not cooperate with the Assam government with updating the NRC.

“Every state has a responsibility as Assam government had sought verification of documents of those people who migrated from other states. The West Bengal government did not even cooperate. She is now aware about the process which has been done under the monitoring of Supreme Court,” he added.