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NRC to cover entire country: Amit Shah

Mamata didi will not push illegal infiltrators back because they are her vote bank, alleged the BJP president

By Our Bureau in Calcutta
  • Published 23.04.19, 1:38 AM
  • Updated 23.04.19, 4:01 AM
  • 2 mins read
BJP president Amit Shah addresses a rally in Burdwan. Picture by Anirban Hazra

BJP national president Amit Shah on Monday said his party would get the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill passed in Parliament and then draw up the National Register of Citizens for the entire country, including Bengal, to identify infiltrators.

“All religious minorities, Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs (and Christians and Parsis), from neighbouring countries like Bangladesh will be given citizenship in India and they will live with full dignity,” Shah told a news conference in Calcutta before he set out on election campaign in Bengal.

“The bill was passed in the Lok Sabha in January but because of the opposition of the Congress and Trinamul, it was not tabled in the Rajya Sabha. The numbers in Rajya Sabha will change in favour of the BJP by 2020 and we promise to pass the bill then,” he added.

Then, the party will carry out the NRC exercise across the country, Shah said in reply to a question.

Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee has been alleging that the final draft of the NRC in Assam did not include 22 lakh Bengali-speaking Hindus and almost a similar number of Bengali-speaking Muslims. She also accuses the BJP of using the NRC to polarise people on communal lines.

On Monday, Shah – during the news conference and then at four public meetings in Howrah, Birbhum, East Burdwan and Nadia – tried to turn the tables on Mamata and accused her of scaring the “religious minorities” of Bangladesh for political reasons.

“Mamata didi will not push illegal infiltrators back because they are her vote bank. But after we are voted back to power, we would take up this job as our top priority. We would protect Bengal and the entire nation from the infiltrators,” Shah told a rally at Krishnanar in Nadia.

On Monday, Mamata again vowed that she would resist any attempt to undertake the NRC exercise in Bengal.

Shah also accused Mamata of not taking any action against “illegal” deposit mobilisation companies.

“Do you think the accused of chit funds like Saradha or Rose Valley should be sent to jail? If you want this, please bring the BJP to power again. I assure you that all the accused in the chit funds scams will be behind the bars within 90 days of our return to power,” Shah said.

Through the day, Shah was critical of Mamata for her statement that the Election Commission was trying to run a parallel government in Bengal.

“Has Didi forgotten the 2011 polls when the Election Commission played a similar role? Wasn’t that an effort to run a parallel government? Actually, she is scared that all her efforts to rig polls are going in vain because of the effective role of the Election Commission,” he said.

Pragya candidature

Shah defended the BJP’s nomination of Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, an accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case, as a candidate from the Bhopal Lok Sabha seat.

“It is absolutely the right decision to field Pragya as a candidate. All allegations against her are baseless. Neither she nor Swami Aseemanand are guilty of any crime,” Shah told the news conference in Calcutta.

The Telegraph