NRC issue: Mamata warns of civil war

New Delhi, Jul 31 (PTI): | Publish Date: 8/1/2018 4:12:07 AM IST

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today warned that exclusion of 4 million people from 

National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam could lead to “bloodbath” and a “civil war” in the country, which was strongly denounced by BJP president Amit Shah.

She also accused the Modi government of trying to make millions of people “stateless” in Assam for political gains.

However, Shah, rejecting Banerjee’s charges, sought to project the NRC in Assam as a national security issue and rights of Indians. He also asked all opposition parties to clarify whether they support NRC or not.

The attack on the government by Banerjee and several opposition parties came, a day after names of over 4 million people in Assam were excluded from the draft NRC list, prepared following a long-drawn process to identify illegal Bangladeshis living in the state.

The NRC is being done with a political motive. We will not let this happen. They (BJP) are trying to divide the people. The situation cannot be tolerated. There will be a civil war, blood bath in the country,” Banerjee told a conclave here. The issue rocked the parliament as well. Separately, a number of political parities held a protest outside the parliament, accusing the BJP of trying to divide the society and making Indian citizens become refugees in their own country.

At a press conference, Shah asserted that the NDA government was determined to throw out illegal Bangladeshis from the country and that NRC will be implemented “to the last full stop”. He also asked all political parties to clarify their stand on NRC.

The Congress also said the BJP of playing politics on Assam’s NRC and accused Shah of deliberately giving a “mischievous twist” to the issue. Congress senior spokesperson Anand Sharma said the BJP and the government should behave responsibly on the issue in national interest and unity.

He said the issue that the Congress is highlighting is that a large number of Indians have been rendered as refugees in their own country and this was unacceptable. Joining the row, BSP president Mayawati condemned the exclusion of over 40 lakh people and demanded an all-party meeting on it.

“By depriving 40 lakh people from religious and linguistic minorities living there for years of their citizenship, the BJP governments both at the Centre and in Assam have achieved the target of their narrow and divisive politics,” she said in a press release.

Mayawati said it would be very difficult to contain the “frenzy” caused by the publication of the draft NRC, adding the all-party meeting was needed to work out “remedial” measures.

Shah, on his part, said the process for NRC, whose mandate is to identify illegal immigrants, was started in 2005, when the UPA was in power, but it lacked the courage “to throw out illegal Bangladeshis”.

“The BJP is committed to the national security and safety of its citizens. This is our top priority. All other parties should clear their stand,” he said, also condemning Banerjee for her warning that there could be civil war and bloodbath.

In her comments, Banerjee accused the government of trying to make millions of people “stateless” in Assam for political gains. 

She also dared the BJP to try implementing NRC in West Bengal and said it can never come to power in the state.

“The BJP has the audacity to say that they would implement NRC in Bengal and thinks only they and their supporters would stay in India and rest will have to leave the country,” she said, asserting that the “present situation” cannot go on. The firebrand leader also appealed to the all communities to build up a momentum against the decision of the government.

“No one can give us direction. This is not the politics of India. Indian politics is about tolerance,” she said.

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