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regular-article-logo Friday, 19 April 2024

Mamata Banerjee asks chief secretary to launch portal to solve Aadhaar crisis

She also asked government staff who work on the ground, like healthcare workers, to report people whose Aadhaar cards were deactivated recently

Snehamoy Chakraborty Published 19.02.24, 07:38 AM
Mamata Banerjee at the government welfare distribution programme in Birbhum’s Suri on Sunday. 

Mamata Banerjee at the government welfare distribution programme in Birbhum’s Suri on Sunday.  Picture by Amarnath Dutta

Mamata Banerjee has asked chief secretary B.P. Gopalika to launch a portal to register the names of those whose Aadhaar cards were deactivated and has vowed that nobody in Bengal will be denied any government service or benefit on account of the invalid documents.

“I have heard that they (the BJP-led central government) are invalidating Aadhaar cards across Bengal. Who gave you the right to do this? I want to ask our chief secretary, who is present here, to open an online portal. I want to request those whose Aadhaar cards were deactivated to register on that online platform,” the Bengal chief minister said at a public welfare distribution programme in Birbhum’s Suri on Sunday.

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She also asked government staff who work on the ground, like healthcare workers, to report people whose Aadhaar cards were deactivated recently.

Mamata’s instructions came amid reports that many people in various parts of the state had received letters from the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), informing them that their Aadhaar numbers had been deactivated and their requirements to stay in the country were not fulfilled. In districts like North 24-Parganas, Nadia and East Burdwan, many people received such letters in the past few days.

A senior state government official said the chief minister’s instructions to start both online and offline exercises to register those receiving such letters would help authorities prepare a database of deactivated Aadhaar numbers.

Mamata, who referred to a group of people in East Burdwan’s Jamalpur, who purportedly received such letters, said her government would not let anyone be deprived of any of the welfare schemes, even if their Aadhaar remained deactivated.

“Ahead of elections, they are doing this to stop the people of Bengal from benefiting from the welfare schemes. Today, I want to make it clear that you will not be deprived of any social welfare scheme in Bengal, even if you don’t have an Aadhaar card. You will be able to avail of all our schemes without an Aadhaar card,” she said, before expressing her suspicion of the developments related to Aadhaar being a part of the saffron camp's conspiracy to bring back the contentious citizenship matrix issue to the fore.

Mamata warned the people of Bengal, saying the deactivation of the Aadhaar cards of people here was a front to launch the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the amended citizenship law.

“The developments related to Aadhaar cards are their (the BJP’s) deceptive moves.... I want to warn all of you.… They are preparing to start the NRC and the CAA,” she added, before promising that she would support all those who became victims of deactivated Aadhaar.

A source said the East Burdwan district administration had sent a detailed report on those receiving Aadhaar-deactivation letters from the UIDAI, and claimed most of those who received such letters were Matuas.

Trinamul’s Matua leader Mamata Bala Thakur has called a core committee meeting of the All India Matua Mahasangha on Monday to discuss the issue and prepare a roadmap for a movement against the UIDAI.

“We won't tolerate this torture on the people of our community and anyone of our state. We will go big to stop the deactivation of Aadhaar cards. We will hold an emergency meeting on Monday to discuss our movement,” said Thakur who was recently nominated to the Rajya Sabha by her party.

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