Millennium Post

Divisive politics won't work: Mamata to Shah

Kolkata: Allaying all fears on National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday assured that there is no reason to panic as not a single individual will have to leave the state.

Her statement comes on a day when Union Home minister Amit Shah addressed a convention on NRC at the Netaji Indoor Stadium in the city and said that the people are being "misled" on the issue.

Banerjee said that the state government had not received any letter from the Centre on NRC so far. She once again clarified that the Centre will not be able to implement NRC in Bengal without the state government's permission. Urging the people to maintain religious harmony and not to create any division, she appealed to the BJP, without taking any name, not to try to break the social fabric of the state.

Echoing similar thoughts, state Finance Minister Amit Mitra added that Shah had triggered a sense of fear and confusion in the name of NRC among the people of Bengal when they are in a mood to celebrate Durga Puja.

"The Union minister, during his speech, triggered fear and confusion among the people in the name of NRC. When he should have become a part of the celebrations, he chose to spread tension among the people instead. Bengal has a long heritage, and people rejoice during the festive season together. He could have visited the Puja pandals in the city and soaked in the festive fervour," Mitra said.

He further stated: "We are disheartened to see the Union Home minister dividing people along religious lines. Taking the names of various communities, Shah assured that Hindus, Christians, Sikhs will not be driven out of the country. In a country like India, can a person who holds such a high office single out one particular community? Does the Constitution of India validate what the Union minister has said? His statements are uncalled for and unconstitutional. What he said is in conflict with our Constitution."

Earlier in the day Union Home minister Amit Shah declared the NRC is "a must" for national security and will be implemented, but made it clear that Hindu, Sikh, Jain and Buddhist refugees will be accorded Indian citizenship beforehand with the passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.

Shah was addressing a BJP seminar on the National Register of Citizens, which has hitherto remained confined to Assam.

"No country in the world can run smoothly while carrying the burden of so many intruders. This has to stop. We are working towards changing Bengal. NRC is a must. We will have to implement NRC to ensure the country's safety and security," Shah had said.

In a related development, Uttar Pradesh police chief O P Singh has asked all district units to run a campaign to detect illegal Bangladeshi migrants, in instructions issued amid the political row over the National Register of Citizens update in Assam.

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