‘Divisive politics won’t work in Bengal’: Mamata Banerjee counters Amit Shah on NRC
Hours after Union home minister Amit Shah said Tuesday that people of Bengal were being misled about the National Register of Citizens (NRC), chief minister Mamata Banerjee cautioned the people of the state against divisive politics and said it will not work in the state.
“Everyone is welcome to our state and enjoy the hospitality of our people. But please don’t profess any divisive politics ... It will not work in Bengal. Please don’t spread the religion of divisive politics. Please don’t create rift among people. Bengal is known to respect leaders of different faiths for ages. This can never be spoilt,” PTI quoted her as saying at the inauguration of a community puja in south Kolkata.
Without referring to Shah, the Trinamool Congress chief said people of different faiths in Bengal practice their respective religions but come together to celebrate the state’s biggest festival- Durga Puja - which unifies people of different faiths.
Earlier in the day, an event called the NRC-Jagran Abhiyan in Kolkata, Shah had said, “People of Bengal are being misled about the NRC ... I assure all Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, Jain refugees that they won’t have to leave the country ... They will get Indian citizenship and enjoy all the rights of an Indian national when the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill is passed in Parliament.”
Shah also said all infiltrators would be pushed out of the country.
An earlier attempt by the central government to push the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill came to nought after it failed table the bill in the Rajya Sabha. The bill lapsed in March.
The BJP accuses Banerjee of favouring infiltrators in Bengal for their votes. The TMC in turn accuses the BJP of polarising voters on religious lines.
Banerjee maintains that there is no need for NRC in Bengal. Last month during a meeting with Shah in New Delhi, she had raised the issue of NRC in Assam and said no Indian should be put through difficulties.