NEW DELHI: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday disapproved of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) final draft and accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of targeting people in the wake of general elections scheduled for next year.
While addressing a gathering here, Banerjee underscored that India-Pakistan-Bangladesh were one nation before partition. She said who so ever came from Bangladesh to India till March 1971 is an Indian citizen.
“Only to win polls people can’t be victimised. Don’t you think people whose name isn’t in the list will lose a part of their identity? Please understand India-Pakistan-Bangladesh were one before partition. Whoever came from Bangladesh to India till March 1971 is Indian citizen,” she said.
Banerjee also alleged that the BJP through NRC”>NRC is conspiring against the minorities.
Meanwhile, she also hit out at Chief Minister Sarbanada Sonowal-led government, saying people who recently voted for the incumbent government in the state and at the Centre, have been declared as refugees in their own country.
“What is going on in Assam, the National Register of Citizens (NRC) problem? It is not only the Bengalis, it is the minorities, it is Hindus, it is Bengalis, it is Biharis. More than 40 lakhs people voted yesterday for the ruling party and suddenly today they have been made refugees in their own country,” she said.
“I don’t want to see my motherland with hope, I don’t want to see my motherland divided. We will not allow this to happen in Bengal because we are there. Today these people cannot even vote,” she added.
The West Bengal Chief Minister, continuing her tirade against the BJP, said she is shocked that the former President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed’s family members’ names have not been included in the NRC”NRC final draft.
“I am surprised to see that the names of our former President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed’s family members are not on the NRC” NRC Assam list. What else can I say? There are so many people whose names are not there,” she said.
Banerjee is in the capital city to meet Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to discuss possible amendments which can be brought in the draft.
However, the Supreme Court earlier today averred that all those whose names haven’t been included in the list must be given a fair chance to substantiate their claims.
The top court made it clear that publication of draft NRC”>NRC can’t form the basis of action against anyone by the authorities and that the legal process will have to be followed after giving due opportunity to those whose names are missing.
It further asked the central government to lay down the standard operating procedure on NRC”>NRC and submit it for approval.
Union Minister Rajnath Singh has also assured the same yesterday following the release of the draft list. “Even someone whose name is not on the list can approach the foreigner’s tribunal. No coercive action will be taken against anyone; hence there is no need for anyone to panic,” Singh told ANI.
Meanwhile, the Congress had also come down hard on the BJP soon after the release of the draft.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi yesterday dubbed the execution of the critical and highly sensitive exercise as tardy.
The draft list, which was released on Monday, has left out nearly 40 lakh people in Assam incorporating names of 2.89 crore people out of 3.29 crore applicants. The list has been updated for the first time since 1951, to account for illegal migration from nearby Bangladesh. (ANI)