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Thursday 23 January 2020

Mamata to Shah: People scared of NRC, don’t hassle ‘citizens’

The chief minister of West Bengal told journalists after her meeting with the home minister, 'He listened to all that I said intently. I think he will play a positive role. He (Shah) has assured that he will look into this issue.'

New Delhi: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee met Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday. During the meeting with the home minister, the Bengal chief minister expressed concern about the National Register of Citizens (NRC).

Earlier on Wednesday, Mamata had paid a ‘courtesy’ visit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. During this, Mamta also invited PM Modi to come to Bengal. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has welcomed Mamata’s stance.

After meeting Shah, Banerjee said, “I met the Home Minister for the first time. I do not come to Delhi very often. Yesterday, I had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This meeting was held with the home minister to discuss a number of matters including misuse of the Constitution.

Mamata Banerjee raised the NRC issue during her meeting with the home minister. She said, “I have handed him a letter. I talked to him also about the 19 lakh people, comprising many Bengali, Gorkha and Hindi-speaking people, excluded from the NRC. Citizens with bona fides should be given a chance to prove their nationality.”

The chief minister said, “I came here to discuss many issues.” Mamata Banerjee told journalists that people were scared of the NRC and that those she believes to be citizens should not be disturbed.

Mamata said further that the home minister did not say anything with regard to executing an NRC in West Bengal. “The home minister listened to all that I said intently. I think he will play a positive role. He (Shah) has assured that he will look into this issue.”

Mamata-Shah meeting interpreted

Earlier, Mamata Banerjee had expressed her desire to meet Home Minister Shah at a time when CBI is going hammer and tongs against former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar.

The CBI has formed a special team to trace the former Kolkata police commissioner in connection with the Saradha chit fund case, where he is alleged to have fiddled with the evidence. The CBI is also conducting raids in many places to locate him. According to sources, the agency served summons to Rajeev Kumar thrice. He has not yet appeared before them.

Earlier on Wednesday, after a gap of 15 months amid political speculations, Mamata Banerjee met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and appealed to revive some of the stalled projects in West Bengal.

Describing the meeting with the Prime Minister as good, Mamata said that her agenda for changing the name of the state was on the top of her list of priorities. “We discussed changing the name of West Bengal to Bangla. The prime minister has promised to do something about it,” she said. This name had been rejected by the Centre as it sounded analogous to Bangladesh.

The Modi-Banerjee talks included the issue of disinvestment of projects related to the Indian Railways, mining and some public sector units.

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