Breaking silence over the recently-published National Register for Citizens (NRC) draft for Assam which created has created a political furore, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said launched a scathing attack on West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee over her “civil war” and “bloodshed” remark.
“Those who have lost faith in themselves, fear loss of popular support and lack faith in our institutions can use words like ‘civil war’, ‘blood bath’ and ‘Desh Ke Tukde Tukde’. Evidently, they are disconnected from the pulse of the nation,” said PM Modi in an exclusive interview to news agency ANI.
“I want to assure the people that no citizen of India will have to leave the country. As per the due process, all possible opportunities will be given to get their concerns addressed,” he added.
Targeting the Centre over names of 40 lakh people being excluded from the Assam NRC draft, Mamata had accused the Modi government of resorting to “divide and rule” politics and had warned that the issue with lead to “civil war” and “bloodbath” within the nation.
PM Modi also targeted Mamata over changing her stand on the issue of illegal immigrants from what she said in 2005 in the Lok Sabha when the Trinamool Congress was an ally of the BJP.
“As far as Mamata ji’s stand is concerned, she should remember what she said on the floor of the Parliament in 2005. Was that Mamata ji correct or is this Mamata ji correct?” said PM Modi.
Speaking on the issue of illegal Bangladeshi immigrants in the Lok Sabha then, Banerjee had termed the “infiltration in Bengal” as a “disaster” and a “very serious matter”.
The TMC chief had even demanded a discussion on the issue in the House. Her demand was, however, turned down by the then Lok Sabha deputy Speaker Charanjeet Singh Atwal. A furious Banerjee had then created a ruckus in the House by crying, tearing papers and throwing them at Atwal.
The second NRC draft was released on July 30 that included the names of 2.89 crore people out of 3.29 crore applicants in Assam. However, nearly four million people were missing from the list, which triggered panic among those excluded.
Soon after the final draft was released, the Opposition cried foul and called the list “politically motivated”, despite appeals against politicisation of the issue.
The Prime Minister accused the Congress Party of indulging in votebank politics over the draft.
“The roots of the NRC go back three decades, when (former prime minister) Rajiv Gandhi had to bow to public pressure and sign the Assam Accord. Since then Assam voted Congress several times but the party did nothing about it and kept misleading the people. Congress knew a problem exists but allowed it to fester for decades because they were guided by votebank politics,” he noted.
(With ANI inputs)