New Delhi: A strong critic of the NDA-led Central government, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday reiterated that the National Register of Citizenship (NRC) will not be implemented in her state.
“There are a few people who are trying to create disturbance in the state in the name of implementation of NRC. I want to make it very clear that I will never allow NRC in West Bengal as long as I am in power in the state,” Mamata said.
Saying that the NRC in Assam was part of the Assam Accord signed during the tenure of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, Mamata said the exercise can never be implemented across the country.
“No one can take away your (people) citizenship and turn you into a refugee. You are and will remain the citizens of this country. There can be no division on the basis of religion,” Mamata added.
The statement from the West Bengal Chief Minister came hours after Union Home Minister Amit Shah said all citizens of the country irrespective of religion will be covered in the National Register of Citizens (NRC) list.
Speaking at Rajya Sabha, Amit Shah said that the NRC has no such provision which says that certain religions will be excluded from it. “All citizens of India irrespective of religion will figure in the NRC list. The NRC is different from Citizenship Amendment Bill,” he added.
He said that the whole process of NRC will be carried out across the country. “No one, irrespective of religion should be worried, it is just a process to get everyone under the NRC,” he further stated.
Saying that her state shares a long and porous border with Bangladesh, Mamata said her state has about 30 per cent Muslim population.
“A total of 19 lakh people have been left out of the Assam NRC list. Those omitted include Hindus, Bengalis, Muslims, Gorkhas, and Buddhists. They have been sent to detention centres. In Bengal we (TMC) will never allow any detention centre,” she said.
Earlier in the day, Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma also said that the present NRC in his state should be scrapped and people of his state should be part of the national NRC process.
“There were various lacunae that we’ve already pointed out. Various social organisations of Assam have filed petitions in the Supreme Court seeking review of the present process. We are of the view the present NRC should be scrapped and we should be part of the national NRC process,” Sarma said.
The Central government in August this year had published the final list of the NRC in which a total of 3,11,21,004 persons were found eligible for inclusion, whereas 19,06,657 people were left out.