Kolkata: Slamming the BJP governments at the Centre and in Assam, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday told that the BJP is driving out Bengalis in the name of implementing National Register of Citizens (NRC). She pledged that her government will shelter people driven out of Assam and Gujarat.
Mamata told this while addressing a public meeting in Cooch Behar, which borders with Assam. Expressing her anger over reports of people committing suicides after their names were excluded from the “genuine voters” list, Mamata is quoted to have said, “The ruling party at the Centre, which is also in power in Assam, has started driving out Bengalis. This does not happen in Bengal. Here, we love Assamese, Bengalis, Biharis, Nepalis, refugees, minorities and people belonging to backward castes. What is happening in Assam today? Names of 40 lakh people have been excluded from the list of genuine voters. As a result, people are committing suicides. While Bengalis are being driven out from Assam, Biharis are being driven out from Gujarat.”
Ms Banerjee also condemned the incidents of violence against Hindi-speaking people in the western state following the rape of a 14-month-old girl in Gujarat’s Sabarkantha district on September 28 and the subsequent arrest of a labourer from Bihar for the crime. She said, “If my brothers and sisters… are being subjected to persecution, then we will give them protection. We will stand by them if no one gives them support. We will love them and provide them shelter in our own way.”
Accusing the BJP of trying to “distort” the country’s history to create a rift among people on religious lines, Mamata made it clear that the people of Bengal will neither encourage nor allow divisive politics.