Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday tore into the government over a list of citizens that excludes 40 lakh people from Assam, warning that the move will lead to “civil war and bloodbath”. Her remark drew a sharp reaction from the chief of the ruling BJP, Amit Shah, who said he was “stunned” and demanded to know, “What about the rights of Indians?”
@narendramodi Govt has the courage, guts and spine to undertake the NRC exercise and never wanted to save ILLEGAL migrants from Bangladesh like the UPA Govt. Mamata Banerjee pls dont play filthy politics on this#IndiaForIndians #NRCForSecureIndia @BJP4India @BJP4Bengal @BJYM pic.twitter.com/PDnzLyJasq
— Indranil Banerjee (@indrab02) August 1, 2018
The final draft of citizens in Assam, which leaves out over 40 lakh people, provoked political anger with opposition parties targeting the government in parliament today. Among them was the Trinamool Congress of Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who accused the ruling BJP of trying to identify and isolate people who don’t vote for the party. “They are turning Indian people into refugees in their own country,” Ms Banerjee said at a press meet she called at short notice in Kolkata before leaving for Delhi.
“Many people have been identified as foreigners and they are to be sent back. There are many children and women among them… So many Bengalis, Biharis, Hindus, Muslims… they are very much Indians,” said Mamata Banerjee, adding that she was “worried about torture” of those left out.
“It is a game plan to evict humanity and human beings forcibly and an attempt to isolate them in order to do vote politics. We do not believe in divide and rule policy,” she told reporters at the state secretariat Nabanna.
The same @MamataOfficial back in
'The Bangladeshi infiltration into Bengal has become a disaster now'
— अाdil🇮🇳 (@AdilGorkha) July 31, 2018
“Such a huge step is being taken. Shouldn’t the government have the conversation with Bengal?” Ms Banerjee said.
“Every state has people staying from other states, like Gujarat and Maharashtra.”
Ms Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress, the Congress, CPM and Samajwadi party protested in parliament, saying the list puts “human rights and democratic rights” of people at stake.
“Some people are unnecessarily trying to create an atmosphere of fear… This is a draft and not the final list,” Home Minister Rajnath Singh said.
Mentally challenged @Mamataofficial provoking migrants for violence, anarchy, riots and civil war in our country on the issue of #NRCAssam @HMOIndia
Please take urgent action to arrest her and impose president rule in #WestBengal @rajnathsingh@PMOIndiahttps://t.co/fZponWmV1u
— #CONgressMuktBharat (@sagenaradamuni) July 31, 2018
Urging parties not to “create panic”, the Home Minister said: “It is a sensitive issue and should not be politicised unnecessarily.”
A home ministry official, Satyendra Garg, said that no one would be deported or arrested based on today’s list, which was only a draft.
Assam’s National Register of Citizens
Assam’s National Register of Citizens or NRC has been updated for the first time since 1951 to account for illegal migration from neighbouring Bangladesh.
Releasing the updated list, officials underscored that no one would be deported or arrested as this was only a draft.
— Debarati Majumder (@debarati_m) July 30, 2018
Of 3.29 crore people who had applied for their names to be included, 2.89 crores have made it to the revised citizens’ list. The rest face the prospect of being declared illegal and sent out unless they can satisfy the doubts of the authorities.
It is not clear whether this 40 lakh will be eligible to vote in next year’s national election. “The Election Commission will decide,” said an official.
The register counts only those as Assam citizens who can prove that they were living in the state on or before March 21, 1971.
The list has been updated to include descendants of those in the state in 1951 when the first census took place or those who were in Assam’s electoral rolls as of March 24, 1971.
Mamata Banerjee 's threats to the nation of dire consequences like "Civil War", "Bloodbath" on #NRCForSecureIndia issue
She can be the Next PM if Mahagathbandhan wins.
— TheGiniKhan (@giniromet) August 1, 2018
FIR filed against Ms Banerjee
Mamata Banerjee has been accused of inciting “hate and tension” among communities in a police complaint filed by activists of the ruling BJP in Assam, hours after she warned of a “civil war and bloodbath” over a list of citizens that leaves out 40 lakh people from the northeastern state.
The complaint was filed by three workers of the BJP’s youth wing in Assam’s Dibrugarh. Mamata Banerjee has accused the BJP of trying to divide the country with the draft National Register of Citizens or NRC in Assam, which leaves 40 lakh people facing the prospect of deportation.
After “Civil War, Bloodbath” remark, FIR filed against Mamata Banerjee
A complaint was filed by the BJP’s youth wing, Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, against West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday for her statement against the National Register of Citizens (NRC) pic.twitter.com/1UW6gnScik
“The NRC is being done with a political motive. We will not let this happen. They (BJP) are trying to divide the people. The situation cannot be tolerated. There will be a civil war, the bloodbath in the country,” the Bengal Chief Minister told a conclave in New Delhi.
She also accused the government of trying to make millions of people “stateless” in Assam for political gains.
BJP president Amit Shah hit back at a press conference, saying the Bengal Chief Minister was “spreading confusion” with her claims of “civil war”. Accusing her of playing vote bank politics, he said, “I heard the whole speech and I am stunned by it”.
“This step has been taken for protecting the rights of the people of India. Every party should make their stand clear where rights of Indians are important or not,” Mr Shah said.
The government has insisted that the draft NRC list released on Monday – following a long-drawn process to identify illegal Bangladeshis living in the state – is not final and that people who have been left out will be given a chance to prove their citizenship.
We the people of India warn Mamata Banerjee khatoon all illegal migrants has to go from India after Assam next Bengal. Forget about civil war you have no capacity to do anything except barking on the basis of some gunda.
— suresh lal prasad (@suresh_lal) August 1, 2018
The draft list will be made available to the public on August 7 and those not on it can file claims and objections from August 30 to September 28, the Supreme Court said on Tuesday.