Kolkata: Union Home Minister Amit Shah was reviving the issue of the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) to hide the BJP’s failure to give credence to its pre-poll promise of implementing it, the CPI (M) claimed on Friday.
CPI (M) central committee member Sujan Chakraborty claimed that Shah’s reiteration that CAA will be implemented in West Bengal was an attempt to hide the fact that the BJP’s promise on the issue before the 2021 assembly elections were untrue.
Asserting that CAA was, is, and will be a reality, Shah on Thursday claimed in Siliguri that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee only wants infiltration to continue and is against giving citizenship to refugees who have come to West Bengal.
“Can he question the citizenship of people with whose votes he had won the elections?” Chakraborty asked.
Accusing the chief minister also of having a role in the citizenship issue, Chakraborty claimed that the terms “illegal immigrants” or “NRC” were not there in the citizenship law of the country till 2003, when the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, in which Mamata Banerjee was a minister, incorporated these words in the law by way of amendment.
“Anyone who cannot produce relevant documents becomes vulnerable. It is the poorer sections, who may have faced displacement for reasons such as floods or other natural calamities during which these papers may have got lost, will suffer the most,” he told PTI.
Demands for a separate Union territory of north Bengal raised by two BJP MLAs on Thursday from a public meeting in Siliguri, which was later graced by Shah, were unjustified as that cannot be a solution to the problem of alleged underdevelopment of the region, Chakraborty said.
“Issues of underdevelopment are there, but that does not call for separation. What should be ensured is the proper development of northern Bengal districts by the Trinamool Congress government,” he said.
The CPI(M) leader accused the BJP of trying to take advantage of the situation by playing with the sentiments of the people in the northern districts.
He claimed that people who had made similar statements seeking separation when they were in the Trinamool Congress are now making such demands after joining the BJP.
The northern Bengal districts have intermittently seen separate statehood demands and agitations on issues of development and regional aspirations.
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