Assam NRC draft: Why Mamata Banerjee is misleading Bengalis over illegal immigrants

The chief minister is apparently rattled because of the growing number of BJP supporters in West Bengal.

 |  3-minute read |   01-08-2018
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The stand taken by TMC supremo and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee after the release of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) actually reflects her duplicity on the matter.

mamata-banerjee-690_080118125109.jpgMamata Banerjee is wrong in saying that BJP is driving out Bengalis from Assam because the illegal immigrants are not Bengalis but Bangladeshis. (Source: India Today)

Banerjee has indicated that the BJP is driving out Bengalis from Assam, which of course, is a completely false and baseless allegation. The charge levelled by Banerjee is only aimed at confusing Bengalis.

Addressing the media after the Assam NRC final draft was released on Monday (July 30), Banerjee claimed that Bengalis and Biharis living in Assam were being targeted, and said that they are "Indians, not Rohingya".

The chief minister is apparently rattled because of the growing number of BJP supporters in West Bengal. Her move to project BJP as anti-Bengali is only a reflection of her frustration and fear over BJP's growing influence in the state she governs. Sadly, she has hugely compromised on facts in leading her charge against the BJP.

Not too long back it was the BJP-led central government that tabled the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016. The bill clearly stated that Bangladeshi and Pakistani migrants who are Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, among others, will be offered citizenship of India, irrespective of whether they entered the country before 1971 or later.

This makes it clear that the Narendra Modi government indeed welcomed refugees and clarified that they had no reason to be worried. There is no other party which is fighting for the rights of the refugees.

However, two things need clarification with regards to NRC. First, the NRC is being prepared in Assam on the orders of the Supreme Court and the Modi government has no role in the exercise.

Second, the Congress has no business crying foul because it was under then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi that the Assam Accord (1985) was signed. The accord had promised that illegal immigrants would be identified and deported.

It is thus amply clear that what Congress and Banerjee are doing is nothing but shedding crocodile tears and trying to mislead the people. It is understandable that Banerjee is following in the footsteps of the Congress because she had her political origin in the same party.

People who cross borders without passports and visas despite belonging to religious and ethnic majority in their own countries facing no imminent threat to life are not refugees but infiltrators. Such people will be identified and driven out of West Bengal too whenever the BJP comes to power in the state.

Banerjee is wrong in saying that BJP is driving out Bengalis from Assam because the illegal immigrants are not Bengalis but Bangladeshis. Just because they happen to speak Bangla, they can't qualify as Bengalis.

All that Banerjee's fake tears have helped to achieve is exposing her own duplicity on the matter of illegal immigrants. In 2005, Banerjee had on the floor of Lok Sabha raised the issue of illegal immigrants saying people who had crossed to the Indian side of the border were being allowed to vote in West Bengal.

But Bengalis are not naive. They have good political understanding and they will not be swayed by Banerjee's political gimmicks.

(Read the piece in Bangla)

Also read: NRC: Why Mamata Banerjee's stand on illegal immigrants has changed with changing political season

Writer

Ritesh Tiwari Ritesh Tiwari @riteshwb

Author is BJP's spokesperson in West Bengal.

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