Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the Trinamool Congress (TMC) government will not allow the implementation of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in the state. "The implementation of the NRC is nothing but a political vendetta of the BJP-led central government," Banerjee told the Assembly during a discussion on the motion. "We will never let the BJP implement the NRC in West Bengal." This (NRC) is nothing but an attempt to divert the attention of the people from the ongoing economic crisis in the country, she added.
In an unprecedented show of unity, the West Bengal assembly passed a resolution opposing the NRC in Assam. The resolution also categorically ruled out the possibility of any such exercise in the State. Over 19,00,000 people were left out of the NRC list in Assam. The resolution tabled in the House was supported by members of the Trinamool Congress from the Treasury beaches and legislators of the Left parties and the Congress from the Opposition benches. Only a handful of BJP members opposed the resolution, which was passed after a three-hour debate.
“We do not accept the NRC. What has happened in Assam can never happen in Bengal,” Mamata said during the debate. She thanked Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for opposing a NRC-like exercise in his State. Mamata said the NRC was carried out on the basis of the Assam Accord of 1985 and there was no such agreement in the case of Bengal. “They are making a grand jail where they can keep the detainees from the list.” Issues like this were propped up to divert people’s attention from the economic distress faced by the country, she alleged.
Pointing out that Gorkhas had voted overwhelmingly for the BJP in Darejeeling hills, she said that 10,00,000 Gorkha people have been excluded from the NRC. During the debate, members, supporting the resolution said that the exercise was “inhuman and autocratic.” They said the exercise was “anti-Bengali” and aimed at reaping political dividends for the BJP. “When refugees from Bangladesh came to Bengal, there were no protests here. We, the people of Bengal, have accepted refugees irrespective of their religion,” TMC MLA and Minister Sovandeb Chatterjee said.
Leader of the Left Legislature Party Sujan Chakraborty said the NRC was not against Muslims or those who had come from the other side of Bengal but against the poor people who had no access to documents. All India Forward Bloc MLA Ali Imran Ramz described the resolution as historic. He said it had proved that “Bengal is secular and will remain secular.”