The BJP and Trinamool Congress have locked horns afresh over the National Register of Citizens (NRC). Immediately after Home Minister Amit Shah‘s speech in the Rajya Sabha, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee dismissed it while speaking at a public meeting in Murshidabad. She thundered, “There will be no NRC in this State. We will not allow even one person to be expelled from here.”
The Citizenship Amendment Bill is expected to be introduced in the Rajya Sabha in the current session of Parliament. Earlier on Wednesday, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had come to the Rajya Sabha to discuss the issue. Talking about the issue, he had said, “The NRC list will be for all citizens of India. All names will be added to the list. NRC is not being done on the basis of any religion or region, unlike the Citizenship Amendment Bill.”
Shah also said that those who had been excluded from the final list of citizens could apply to the tribunal.
More than 19 lakh people have been dropped from the NRC in Assam.
Meanwhile, the West Bengal chief minister attended an administrative meeting at Sagardighi in Murshidabad. Banerjee, referring to the NRC, said, “Some people are spreading lies about the NRC. Remember not to trust anyone outside. NRC will not happen. Everyone here is a citizen of this country. I will not allow a single person to be expelled. Keep this in mind.”
Speaking of the exclusion of nearly 20 lakh people from the final list of the citizens’ register that was published on 31 August, the Trinamool Congress head took on the Union government accusing it of lodging the excluded people in temporary jails. Banerjee said, “I will not let this happen in Bengal.”
While the NRC was a bureaucratic exercise where the residents of Assam we asked to provide documented proof of their Indian identity, the amendment bill for Indian citizenship aims at accepting refugees that have fled religious persecution in the Islamic countries around India. This means that refugees from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, etc will be accepted as regular citizens of India only if they are not Muslims.