Refugees to stay, but infiltrators to be thrown out, says Amit Shah
Union home minister says the NRC will be implemented in West Bengal, but before that the Citizenship (amendment) Bill will be passed
Kolkata: Union Home Minister Amit Shah asserted on Tuesday the Centre will extend the National Register of Citizens to West Bengal but before that the Citizenship (amendment) Bill will be passed to accord Indian citizenship to all Hindu, Sikh, Jain and Buddhist refugees.
Addressing a seminar on the controversial NRC, which has hitherto been restricted to Assam, Shah said West Bengal's ruling TMC was misleading people about the citizenship roll. "People of Bengal are being misled about the NRC... I assure all Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, Jain refugees they won't have to leave the country, they will get Indian citizenship and enjoy all the rights of an Indian national," he said.
Shah, who is also the BJP chief, accused the Trinamool Congress of not allowing the passage of the Citizenship (amendment) Bill in the Rajya Sabha. He said WB chief minister Mamata Banerjee herself spoke against illegal migrants when she was in opposition but had changed her stance after they became her vote bank. "We will not allow any refugee to go and we will not allow any infiltrator to stay," he said.
Banerjee has claimed 11 people have committed suicide so far out of fear of being rendered stateless in the event of the citizenship register being prepared in the state, and declared she will never allow the exercise to be undertaken in West Bengal.
Alarmed at the possibility of the NRC being replicated in the state, people have been rushing to government and municipal offices in droves over the past few days to obtain documents that could prove West Bengal has been their place of residence for long.
The BJP president also hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for scrapping provisions of Article 370 that accorded special status to Jammu and Kashmir, saying it will facilitate complete integration of the state into India.
Referring to Syama Prasad Mookerjee, founder of Jana Sangh, BJP's precursor, Shah said it was due to the sacrifices of the leader that West Bengal was today a part of the Indian republic.
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