West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee on Thursday led a protest march against the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam, that has faced backlash for leaving out 19 lakh people from the list.
The TMC supremo along with her party colleagues began her march from Sinthee More in the northern fringes of the city around 3 pm.
Addressing the protest rally, Mamata questioned why the people had to give proof of their identity even after 76 years of independence.
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 had on September 7 and 8 taken out rallies in other parts of the state to oppose the exercise to update the citizenship register.
Earlier, Mamata had flayed the exclusion of 1 lakh Gorkhas from the Assam NRC list.
The Trinamool Congress chief insisted that “justice should be meted out to all Indian brothers and sisters.”
The Gorkha community forms a large voter-bank in the northern West Bengal where a large section of the community has been demanding a separate state of Gorkhaland.
Meanwhile, the West Bengal Assembly on Friday passed a resolution opposing the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam and ruling out any such exercise in Bengal.
The Resolution tabled under Rule 185 of Rules of Procedures of Conduct of Business of the House got the backing of members ruling Trinamool Congress and opposition Left Front and the Congress. The BJP was the only party that opposed the resolution that sailed through after a three-hour debate.
On August 31, the final NRC list in Assam was published including names of 3.1 crore people and leaving out 19 lakh names.
The publication of the citizens’ list is aimed at identifying whether a person residing in Assam is actually an Indian or a foreigner.
The NRC is a list of all citizens domiciled in Assam and is being updated at present to retain bonafide citizens within the state and evict illegal settlers, purportedly migrants from Bangladesh.
However, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has called it a “fiasco” for which the nation deserves an answer.