Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday declared that the National Register of Citizens (NRC) will be implemented across the length and breadth of India and every infiltrator will be thrown out of the country.
“No matter how much the Trinamool Congress opposes it, the BJP will get it done,” Shah said while launching a scathing attack on Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her party.
“Didi is saying that she will not let NRC happen in West Bengal, but I am assuring you that each and every infiltrator in India will be shown the door. When she was in the opposition and the Left was in power, she used to say infiltrators must be forced to leave India,” he said while addressing a seminar on the contentious NRC and the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 at the Netaji Indoor Stadium in Kolkata.
Amit Shah is on his first visit to Kolkata after joining the Union cabinet
Further targeting Mamata, Shah said the chief minister is keen on keeping infiltrators in the state now to expand her voter base.
“Didi used to oppose these same people when they voted for Communists. Now that they are voting for her, she wants to keep them,” he said.
Shah, however, assured the Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist and Christian refugees that they will not be forced to leave India by the Centre. “Don’t believe rumours. Before NRC, we will bring Citizenship Amendment Bill, which will ensure that these people get Indian citizenship”.
The seminar assumes importance as it is being held at a time when there have been 11 deaths in the state allegedly due to panic over the implementation of NRC in West Bengal.
Over the past few days, there have been overnight queues before panchayat and civic offices, block administrative buildings, post offices and banks with people making a mad rush to procure and rectify documents which they feel would help them see through any future NRC project in the state.
The Trinamool Congress leadership, which has been one of the vociferous critics of the NRC, has accused the BJP of trying to divide people through the exercise.
The party has taken out several rallies in different parts of West Bengal to oppose the exercise.
The final National Register of Citizens (NRC) list in Assam was published on August 31, including names of 3.1 crore people and leaving out 19 lakh names. NRC was one of the provisions of the Assam Accord of 1985 and was carried out under the supervision of the Supreme Court.
The NRC is a list of all citizens domiciled in Assam and was updated to retain bonafide citizens within the state and evict illegal settlers, purported migrants from Bangladesh.
Mamata had flayed the exclusion of 1 lakh Gorkhas from the Assam NRC list.
Meanwhile, the West Bengal Assembly has passed a resolution opposing the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam and ruling out any such exercise in Bengal.
Earlier this month, Mamata Banerjee had called on Amit Shah in Delhi and told him “firmly” that the party does not want NRC in West Bengal.
“I handed over a letter to him and told him that of the 19 Lakh people left out of NRC in Assam, many are Hindi speaking, Bengali speaking and local Assamese. Many genuine voters have been left out. This should be looked into. He did not say anything about NRC in West Bengal,” said the West Bengal Chief Minister.
Mamata’s reiteration on the citizens’ list came as the Home Minister at an event said that NRC will not be just limited to Assam. Addressing a rally in Jamtara in Jharkhand, Shah said that all illegal migrants will be sent out of the country.
During his extensive Lok Sabha poll campaign in the state earlier this year, Shah had declared umpteen times that the BJP would come out with an NRC if it came to power in Bengal, and drive away the infiltrators.
Besides the seminar, the Union Home Minister will also inaugurate a community Durga Puja.