‘MoS home affairs came from Bangladesh as refugee’: Bengal BJP leader
Union minister of state for home affairs Nisith Pramanik came to India from Bangladesh as a refugee, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) West Bengal general secretary Sayantan Basu told the media on Sunday. This came a day after Assam Congress chief Ripun Bora urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to enquire into the nationality of the newly appointed Union minister.
Pramanik is a Lok Sabha member from Cooch Behar in north Bengal. Bora is a Rajya Sabha MP.
“Nisith Pramanik came to India as a refugee from Bangladesh, like millions of other people. The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) has been passed. It offers citizenship to refugees from Bangladesh. Why are these questions being raised?” said Basu.
Union home minister Amit Shah, while on an election tour of Bengal, said on April 9 that if the BJP won the assembly elections its new government would give a green signal to implementation of the CAA in the state but the Centre would decide when and how to enforce the new law.
Significantly, in Assam, where polls were also held, the BJP made no announcement on this issue although a chunk of the state’s population comprises refugees from Bangladesh. The BJP won the Assam polls but lost in Bengal.
On Saturday, Bora tweeted that a section of media has alleged that Pramanik was a Bangladeshi national. The Congress MP wrote a letter to PM Modi on July 16 urging the prime minister to conduct an enquiry. He uploaded the letter on Twitter.
“Therefore, I urge upon you to conduct an enquiry about the actual birthplace and nationality of Nisith Pramanik in a most transparent way and clarify the whole issue as it creates confusion across the country,” Bora wrote in his letter to the PM.
Pramanik was inducted into the Union Cabinet on July 7. He was earlier with the Trinamool Congress (TMC). In 2019, ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, he sided with the BJP.
Even though Pramanik could not be reached, Bengal’s BJP unit on Saturday hit back saying that these are mere allegations and need to be backed by proof.
“Anyone can raise any allegation. This doesn’t prove anything. Steps can’t be taken just on the basis of mere allegations. If he has some specific proof, he should make it public. It is not a healthy idea if one tries to become relevant just by raising some allegations,” said Samik Bhattacharya, Bengal BJP’s chief spokesperson.
By stating that Pramanik is a refugee from Bangladesh, Basu completely changed the scenario.
TMC’s Cooch Behar district unit president Partha Pratim Roy, who said on Saturday that multiple portals in Bangladesh have claimed that Pramanik was born at Palasbari in Bangladesh, said, “Sayantan Basu has admitted that the MoS home affairs is from Bangladesh. But mere words don’t mean anything. This should be probed into and established with documents.”
Roy said Bangladeshi news portals quoted Pramanik’s relatives saying that they were proud of him as he has become an MoS.
This is not the first time that controversy has been triggered around the MP. Roy had earlier alleged that there were discrepancies in Pramanik’s educational qualifications. Pramanik did not react to that.