Kolkata: Reiterating her allegation that genuine voters have been struck off the final draft of National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee warned that stripping the people of their citizenship could lead to “bloodbath” and a “civil war” in the country.
The TMC supremo also clarified that she was not against the Assam government, but she does not support NRC.
“Dirty politics is going on in the name of publication of the final draft of NRC in Assam. Names of genuine voters have been struck off the list. We do not support this,” Banerjee said this on the sideline of her visit to Thakurnagar in North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal on Thursday.
Coming down heavily on the BJP-led government at the Centre, she also accused the BJP of resorting to “divide and rule” politics in the country and the Narendra Modi government of trying to make millions of people “stateless” in Assam for political gains.
“They (the Centre) are driving away Bengalis from Assam. In Gujarat, they are trying to drive away Biharis. We never do this here in West Bengal. We have assured them (Bengalis in Assam) that we are beside them. They must not forget Bengal is also their home.”
“We are not against Assam (government). But in the name of the NRC, lakhs of people have been kept out of the list. It is not a crime to speak in Bengali?” the chief minister asked.
Asserting that many people from erstwhile East Pakistan had come to India as refugees, she said, “All those who came to India before 1971 are very much Indian citizens. They have their name on the voters’ list, have ration cards and caste certificates.”
“You are an Indian citizen and that is your identity. It cannot be taken away from you. Those trying to snatch it are doing a wrong thing,” she said.
Names of over 40 lakh people were excluded from the citizens’ register. Out of the 3.29 crore people who had filled their applications for the NRC, 2.89 crore found their names in the draft list.