Mamata Banerjee to meet Rajnath Singh today over NRC Assam issue
Mamata Banerjee accused the Centre of resorting to “vote bank politics” after the final draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) published on Monday morning left out 40 lakh names out of 3.29 crore applicants in Assam.Updated: Jul 31, 2018 12:48 IST
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee is likely to meet Union home minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday to register her protest over the draft National Register of Citizens (NRC), which she claimed was a conspiracy aimed at evicting Bengalis and Biharis from Assam.
Banerjee is also expected to meet leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) such as Yashwant Sinha and Shatrughan Sinha at the residence of lawyer Ram Jethmalani.
Trinamool Congress leaders in Kolkata and Delhi refused to comment on the issue, saying their party chief will brief the media after the meeting with Singh.
“It seems that she is planning to understand the position of both Yashwant Sinha and Shatrughan Sinha on NRC issue among other things. Both the BJP leaders are from Bihar and Mamata Banerjee may even point out to the Union home minister that there is opposition from the party’s leaders from Bihar (on NRC),” a senior Trinamool leader in Kolkata said.
Banerjee also accused the Centre of resorting to “vote bank politics” after the second and final draft of the NRC published on Monday morning left out 40 lakh names out of 3.29 crore applicants in Assam.
“We are worried because people are being made refugees in their own country. It’s a plan to throw out Bengali speaking people and Biharis. Consequences will be felt in our state also,” Banerjee said at a press conference at the state secretariat on Monday.
She has also said she would send a team of her Trinamool Congress MPs to the northeastern state.
The BJP’s state unit president, Dilip Ghosh, hit back saying a similar exercise would be conducted in West Bengal to “kick out illegal Bangladeshi immigrants” if the party comes to power.
Opposition leaders, however, pointed out that the matter mostly concerns Bengalis and should be discussed in the state assembly.
“It is good that the chief minister is meeting Rajnath Singh to register her protest. But since the issue involves mainly the fate of Bengalis, we were proposing a discussion on the floor of the state assembly. Why is the government silent on it so far?” Sujan Chakraborty, leader of Left parties in the state assembly, asked.”We are told that she has also instructed the police to prevent people from Assam to enter Bengal. That will complicate issues,” Chakraborty added.
The leader of the opposition in the assembly Abdul Mannan said they support the Left proposal to discuss the NRC issue in the house.
“Since Bengalis are mainly affected, the chief minister should organise an all-party delegation from Bengal to Delhi,” Mannan added.
The Trinamool Congress chief reached Delhi on Monday evening on a two-day trip during which she is expected to hold discussions for cobbling together a front of the anti-BJP parties to take on the National Democratic Alliance in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
First Published: Jul 31, 2018 12:48 IST