Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday pulled up the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for creating panic through a ‘fake campaign’ on the National Register for Citizens (NRC) issue, which she claimed led to the death of six persons in the state.
“Shame on the BJP for creating panic over the NRC in Bengal. It has triggered six deaths. Have faith in me, I will never allow the exercise in Bengal,” Banerjee said.
Iterating that her government would never allow any NRC exercise in the state, Banerjee went a step further and asserted that no such process will be undertaken anywhere else in the country as the Assam NRC list was mandated by the Assam Accord of 1985.
The Chief Minister also asked the people to get their names registered on the voters’ list as work on its updation was on.
Addressing a workers’ rally at the Netaji Indoor Stadium here, Banerjee alleged that the BJP was carrying out a fake campaign on a future NRC list in Bengal as part of its political propaganda.
“Leave out Bengal, NRC won’t take place anywhere else. The NRC list published in Assam was mandated by the Assam Accord of 1985. Just because somebody says it will happen, it doesn’t mean such an exercise will take place. They need it (NRC) for their politics, for their political propaganda,” she said.
Assam witnessed a six-year-long movement from 1979 to 1985 seeking detection and deportation of illegal Bangladeshis.
The movement finally led to the Assam Accord of 1985 signed by the then Congress ruled centre and the leaders of the agitation belonging to the All Assam Students Union and the All Assam Gana Sangram Parishad in the presence of then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
As per the Assam Accord, March 24 (midnight), 1971, was decided as the cut-off date for inclusion in the NRC list for the northeastern state.
Banerjee said the BJP was trying to divide Hindus and Muslims, and took a dig at the saffron party for the deletion of names of 13 lakh Hindus from the final NRC list brought out in Assam last month.
“They can never do it in Bengal. Who will do it? They will need the state government machinery. We won’t allow any such thing to happen. Don’t worry,” she said.
Banerjee also lashed out against those claiming that 1971 would be the cut-off year for a future NRC in Bengal, saying, “Who is saying all this? Why would you need documents of 1971? Don’t listen to anyone carrying out such propaganda. Some television channels are trying to raise their ratings by instilling fear in you. Don’t watch these channels.”
Banerjee said she herself cannot produce her mother’s birth certificate. “If they want my mother’s birth certificate, can I give? Then why are you worried? Please have faith in me.”