BJP’s West Bengal unit chief and MP Dilip Ghosh today said the National Register of Citizens (NRC) would be implemented in West Bengal and other states as it has been done in Assam. He accused chief minister Mamata Banerjee of misleading people on CAA and NRC issues to protect her minority vote bank. He alleged that Mamata Banerjee had given over one crore Bangladeshi nationals shelter during her tenure and her opposition to CAA was prompted by her anxiety to protect this sizable vote bank “Why you are behaving in such a way, why are you trying to stop the CAA and the NRC? We are committed to NRC. We will also ensure that the CAA is implemented in West Bengal,” he said.

He also said that the Union government is committed to implementing the proposed nationwide NRC and will send back one crore Bangladeshi Muslims living in the state illegally. “Above one crore illegal Muslims in the state are thriving on the government’s Rs 2 per kg subsidised rice, and we will send them back,” he said. Mr Ghosh also slammed the Trinamul Congress (TMC) and the other Opposition parties. He said that when “lungi-clad Rohingyas” were setting railway stations and other public properties on fire for three days, they did not speak out.

“Such incidents of arson caused a loss of Rs 500-600 crore,” BJP’s state president said, referring to the violent protests that broke out in the state after Parliament cleared the CAA in December last year. BJP MP also said that he had no qualms in being branded communal for supporting the cause of Hindu refugees, who had to flee for their lives after being religiously persecuted. “Those who are opposing the CAA are either anti-Indian or anti-Bengali. They are against the idea of India, that is why they are opposing Hindu refugees getting citizenship,” he said.

He said the BJP was the first party which did not consider refugees their vote bank and instead thought of granting citizenship to them after coming to power. At the same time, all other parties had only used them to garner votes Continuing his tirade against eminent personalities, opposing the CAA and the proposed nationwide NRC, he said their “hearts bleed for infiltrators”.

“What about Hindu refugees? They don’t have any answers. These are double standards,” Mr Ghosh said, days after dubbing them “parasites”. Exuding confidence on forming the next government in West Bengal, the BJP leader said Mamata Banerjee’s party would come down to 50 seats in the 2021 state polls. Meanwhile, West Bengal BJP vice president Chandra Bose in a departure from the party’s line urged the Centre to grant citizenship even to Muslims under the amended citizenship act. He also said the government should issue a written clarification on the issue.

“An atmosphere of fear is being created on the issue of citizenship. This applies to both the ruling party and the opposition parties. Simply because Parliament has passed it (the law), it can’t be used to bulldoze people by ignoring the protests. The same applies to opposition parties which are deliberately misleading the masses,” he said. Bose, a grandnephew of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah have categorically stated the CAA is not based on religion.

However, statements made by some other leaders is creating confusion. “To deal with this, I think that this clause should be included (in the new law) that the CAA is not based on religion….and Muslims should also be included in it,” he said. The Citizenship (Amendment) Act aims to provide Indian citizenship to Hindus, Jains, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis who entered India on or before December 31, 2014, from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan, having fled religious persecution in their countries.