Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday said that the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) are two sides of the same coin and her party will oppose it till the end.
The TMC Supremo went on to add that if the Centre gives citizenship to all the communities, then only will her party accept the Citizenship Bill. “But if you discriminate on the basis of religion, we will oppose it and also fight against it,” the chief minister at a party programme in Kolkata.
She also attacked the Centre over the National Register of Citizens and the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, saying they were being taken up by the Centre to divert the attention of the people from the economic slowdown.
“If you give citizenship to all the communities, we will accept it. But if you discriminate on the basis of religion, we will oppose it and also fight against it,” the chief minister said.
The citizenship bill seeks to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955, in order to grant Indian nationality to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians, who come to India due to religious persecution in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan even if they don’t possess proper documents.
Further, the bill will soon be tabled during the ongoing Parliament session. It is expected to sail through the Lok Sabha as the BJP has a majority in the Lower House. What remains to be seen is the bill clearing the Rajya Sabha, as the government does not have a majority here.
In the wake of the development, the Trinamool Congress has also today issued a whip to its MPs for four days from Monday to Thursday in both the houses of Parliament as the debate on the Citizenship Amendment Bill is likely to be taken up then.
As far as the NRC is concerned, Union Home Minister Amit Shah has time and again reiterated the exercise will be conducted across the country,
At least 19 lakh applicants, including Hindus, were excluded from the NRC list in Assam, which was published on August 31.