New Delhi: In his first visit to West Bengal after he assumed the office of the Union home minister early this year, Amit Shah will address a crucial seminar on the National Register of Citizens (Amendment) Bill in Kolkata at a time when the city is swaying in festive fervour. The union minister is also scheduled to inaugurate a community Durga Puja in Salt Lake today.
According to sources, the BJP president will arrive in Kolkata on Tuesday afternoon. After addressing a public awakening programme on NRC, he will meet party leaders and then will go to inaugurate one Puja pandal. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, too, will be busy inaugurating puja pandals.
The NRC seminar is significant as there are apprehensions in West Bengal that NRC will be implemented in the state, after Assam. There have been 11 deaths in the state allegedly due to panic over the implementation of NRC in West Bengal, the PTI reported.
Hundreds of people are seen lining up at government and municipal offices across the state to collect their birth certificates and necessary documents. While Shah has repeatedly said that NRC will be implemented across the country, the Mamata Banerjee-led TMC government has staunchly opposed this.
Prior to the Lok Sabha election, the home minister had said at a press conference in the city in April that the process of establishment of citizenship will be reversed in Bengal. In Bengal, first, there will be Citizenship Amendment Bill. BJP functionaries in West Bengal think the minister will offer clarity in this regard.
The seminar comes barely 12 days after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Amit Shah had a one-on-one meeting in New Delhi.
As per the Assam Accord, those who settled in the state after the cutoff date of March 24, 1971, would be stripped of citizenship rights in case they failed to produce convincing documents. On August 31, the final NRC list was released, which left out nearly 19 lakh residents.