West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee held a press conference at state secretariat, after the second list of National Register of Citizens (NRC) for Assam state was released. She blamed the central government of creating a “humanitarian crisis,” and called the entire process to be an attempt of pushing back ‘Bengalis’ and ‘Biharis’ from the state.
Earlier in the morning, Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress (TMC), had made a huge uproar inside the parliament over the draft which identified 2.89 crore out of 3.29 crore applicants to be eligible citizens of India and Assam state, leaving the status of 40.07 lakh in speculations.
However Home Ministry have clarified that the process is not over yet and those left out, will be given opportunity to prove their legitimacy as Indian citizens.
Calling it “Bengali & Bihari hatao” attempt, Mamata said, “There is a deliberate attempt to evict the Bengalis and Biharis from Assam, even Hindus and Muslims are not spared. It is a deliberate attempt to make people refugees in their own country. Mamata Banerjee alleged that mostly Bengalis and some Biharis have been targeted.”
She said that West Bengal will provide shelter to those who have not made it into the NRC draft, if Assam government pushes them back. “There is an UN resolution to give shelter to refugees in distress,” Mamata Banerjee said.
She said that her MP’s are on their way to Assam and she’ll personally try to visit the state, if allowed. She also stated that she’ll urge the union Home Minister, Rajnath Singh to save the lives of people of Assam.
“If names of 40 lakh people have been deleted, where will they go? Has the Centre planned any rehabilitation plan? Mamata questioned, saying this has left her “really worried”.
“Bengal and Bangladesh will be most affected due to this crisis. Alipurduar in North Bengal shares border with Assam. Nearly four million, Bengalis have been declared non-Indians. Other states would not be as adversely affected as Bengal,” she said.
“If there is pushback to Bangladesh, there will be terrible crisis. What happens if Bangladesh does not want to take them back. And moreover, we simply cannot pushback our own citizens-the Indians. The Union government did not even bother to discuss with us,” she fumed.
Despite clarification from the central government over NRC, the opposition parties have raised their voice in unison against the process. The register of legitimate citizens in Assam is being updated to identify illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and other neighboring countries.