Chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s protest against NRC draft was for the sake of divisive politics and vote bank, CPI-M state secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra said on Sunday.

The chief minister’s U-turn against the publication of a complete draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam was actually a change in her stand on illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.

“She took a positive stand on the issue of illegal immigrants from Bangladesh in 2005 and during her association with the NDA government. Now she is campaigning against it for the vested political gain which is ridiculous,” Mr Mishra said.

Yesterday BJP national secretary and Bengal observer Kailash Vijayvargiya had said that on 4 August, 2005 Trinamul Congress supremo Miss Banerjee had thrown a bunch of papers at the speaker’s podium ~ creating a commotion in the Lok Sabha ~ for not being allowed to speak on illegal immigration of Bangladeshis into West Bengal.

Mr Mishra on Sunday said that both TMC and BJP were polarising people for their vested political gain and the people must boycott the two parties to stop such polarisation in the country.

“These are fascist forces trying to divert the attention of the people from the economic crisis. Only the Left parties are the real alternative to combat against these fascist forces,” he said.

The CPI-M on Sunday organised a procession from Esplanade to Mahajati Sadan to protest against the publication of the complete draft of the NRC in Assam. CPI-M MP Mohammad Salim said the government should not cancel the name of any Indian people from the NRC list.

“In the name of the NRC, an attempt was being made to divide Assam and Bengal and this must be stopped. Both BJP and TMC in connivance are trying to play communal politics to strengthen the vote bank. The people must stop this,” he said.

A meeting was also organised by the CPI-M district committee at Mahajati Sadan to commemorate 130th birth anniversary of the Mujaffar Ahemed.

Meanwhile, Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal said that Mamata Banerjee’s “inflammatory” comment on NRC does not behove of a senior politician and asserted that his government was committed to complete the exercise as per the SC order.

Sonowal, a student-leader turned politician, said precious time of Parliament were wasted by stalling its proceedings by Banerjee’s party, the Trinamul Congress, by spreading “false propaganda” and “wrong information” on NRC.

“Not a single law and order situation has arisen in Assam after the publication of the draft NRC, which was complete fair and transparent. “The statements of the West Bengal chief minister were inflammatory and divisive and aimed at her vote bank in her own state. It does not behove of a chief minister,” he said.

Sonowal, was responding to a question on Banerjee’s comment that the NRC exercise in Assam was done with a “political motive” to divide people and it would lead to “bloodbath” and a “civil war” in the country.

He said rumours have been spread about the NRC in abroad as well but he was thankful to the people of Assam, especially those from the Barak valley and the Bengalis, who did not fall to the prey to the “evil design” of the “outside” forces which tried to instigate people for “narrow political gain”.