Mamata targets PM Modi in Assam, talks about NRC, Citizenship Bill
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday lashed out at the Bharatiya Janata Party governments at the Centre and Assam over the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB).
Addressing a public rally in Dhubri to seek support for Trinamool Congress candidates for the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls, Banerjee targeted Prime Minister Modi for playing divisive politics.
The WB chief minister called NRC and CAB as two lollipops doled out by the government at the Centre for Assam and West Bengal and urged voters not to get taken in by them.
“Over 40 lakh people were left out of the NRC draft. It was not just Muslims, nearly 22 lakh Hindus, many Gorkhas, Bihari and even people from Tamil Nadu and Kerala were left out,” Mamata said.
She reminded the gathering how her government had stood by those who had been affected by the NRC and had even sent a delegation to Assam to take stock of the situation last year.
“We sent our leaders within two days. But they were not allowed by the Assam government to get out of the airport (Silchar) and were harassed,” Mamata said.
“Several people have committed suicide because their names were not in the NRC draft. If you elect our candidates, we will raise these issues vociferously in Parliament,” she added.
The TMC leader stated that the contentious CAB which seeks to give citizenship to religious minorities from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan was just a ploy to make genuine Indian citizens who came to the country before March 25, 1971, from Bangladesh, foreigners.
“Five years ago Modi came seeking your votes as a ‘chaiwala’ (tea seller), but now he has transformed to a ‘chowkidar’ (watchman) and is seeking another 5 years,” Mamata said.
The TMC has fielded candidates in 9 of the 14 Lok Sabha seats in Assam. The party has no presence in the 126-member state assembly.