With cabinet approving the controversial, Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) and ready to present it in the Lok Sabha on Monday, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday said the National Register of Citizens and the CAB are two sides of the same coin and the Trinamool Congress will oppose it till the end.
Speaking at a party program in Kolkata, Banerjee said the National Register of Citizens and the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill were being taken up by the Centre to divert attention of the people from the economic slowdown.
“If you give citizenship to all the communities, we will accept it. But if you discriminate on the basis of religion, we will oppose it and also fight against it,” the chief minister said.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, seeks to grant citizenship to non-Muslims prone to religious persecution in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan and was cleared by the Union cabinet Wednesday. However, majority of north eastern states have been exempted from this bill.
The tribal areas of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Tripura that are included in the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution and the area covered under the Inner Line System notified under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873 which includes Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, and Mizoram. The bill is applicable in Manipur.
The final list of Assam’s National Register of Citizens (NRC) published on July 30, 2018 excluded around 40 lakh people. Of the 3.29 crore people who had filled in their applications, only 2.89 crore found their names in the draft list. The issue was raised in both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha during the monsoon session and was strongly opposed in north-eastern states with leaders protesting against the move.