India

No one can throw people out: Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee

No one can throw people out: Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee

Continuing her attack on the BJP government at the Centre over its plan to introduce contentious citizenship amendment Bill, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday directed officials and lawmakers to allay people’s fear of losing citizenship, adding that “nobody could throw them out of the country”.

“If you have citizenship proof, documents such as ration card and voter-ID, don’t be misguided by people who want to divide communities, pit one against another… NRC will not be implemented in Bengal, but make sure that you have in possession of valid documents. You may not be withdrawing grains from ration shops, but you must have your digital ration cards within reach… Many political parties will try to misguide you. But don’t get afraid. You all are Indian citizens. Nobody has the power to throw out you from here,” the Chief Minister said at an administrative meeting of South Dinajpur district that was held at Gangarampur.

Without naming the BJP over the NRC (National Register of Citizens), Mamata said “those plotting to create fissures among people would not succeed”. “First they tried to misguide people on NRC. Now, they are trying to misguide through citizenship Bill. There are some who want to create fissures between people in the Hills, between Rajbanshis and Kamtapuris in North Bengal, between Sikhs, Muslims, Hindus, Christians, and also between Bengalis who have lived here for generations and the ones that crossed over to the state after the Partition (in 1947). They tell Hindus that Muslims will go. To Rajbanshi, they say that they have no problem with them, but Kamtapuris will have to go. This is very unfortunate. Those plotting such conspiracies will not meet with success,” she added.

The citizenship Bill is expected to be introduced in the winter session of Parliament. The Bill seeks to provide Indian citizenship to Hindus, Jains, Christians, Sikhs, Parsis and Buddhists from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan after seven years of residence in India even if they do not possess any document.

—With PTI