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Amit Shah vs Mamata Banerjee: A Run-down of the Political Bickering Over NRC

Ever since the Assam NRC final draft was released, opposition party leaders have consistently dismissed it, especially West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who has entered in a bitter war of words with the BJP, calling it nothing but an attempt to ‘divide and rule’.


Updated:August 11, 2018, 1:24 PM IST
Amit Shah vs Mamata Banerjee: A Run-down of the Political Bickering Over NRC
Combination photos of Mamata Banerjee and Amit Shah
Kolkata: BJP chief Amit Shah is taking the 2019 battle to Mamata Banerjee with his mega rally in Kolkata on Saturday and is expected to take on the West Bengal Chief Minister over her objection to the National Registry of Citizens (NRC) in Assam. The Trinamool Congress, too, has planned a ‘Dhikkar Rally’ to blunt BJP’s rally.

As Kolkata braces for the rival rallies, here’s a look at what the two leaders have said on NRC, which is snowballing into an election issue:

What Amit Shah Said

— “The process for NRC was started in 2005, when the UPA was in power, but the government lacked the courage to throw out illegal Bangladeshis.” He added, “the NRC will be implemented to the last full stop and comma and by the process laid down by the Supreme Court.”

— “TMC sees vote bank in illegal immigrants, we were rather looking at the security of the country and rights of its citizens.”

— “The list of 40 lakh people not in the NRC is not a final number. The process of claims and appeals is to commence. Every citizen of India of any State can live in Assam. There is no provision in the NRC to oust Indian citizens.”

— “The NRC was the spirit of the 1985 Assam Accord that was signed by former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. The Accord was sought to identify illegal migrants into Assam and prepare a list of Indian citizens after the movement in the state went out of control leading to death of some protesters. This was the Congress PM's initiative. He (Rajiv Gandhi) did not have the courage. We have courage and we are doing it.”

— “Congress President Rahul Gandhi never replied to him over his stand on the Assam National Register of Citizens (NRC) draft.”

— "The central government made the NRC draft on lines of the Supreme Court's order. NRC is an initiative to bring out all the Bangladeshi immigrants from Assam. However, Mamata Banerjee and Congress say that NRC shouldn't be promoted. I have been asking ‘Rahul Baba' whether NRC should be in this country or not but he has not replied to me on the same yet.”

— "Do SP, BSP and the Congress want the ‘infiltrators’ to stay in the country or they should be driven out. I know the answer of the people of UP. The answer is that not even a single infiltrator should be allowed to stay in our country.”

— “40 lakh infiltrators have entered India illegally. Thus, they have no right to remain here. We will give all of them every opportunity to prove their citizenship, but those who fail to do so have no right to participate in the democratic processes of the country.”

— "Those who are found to be living in the country illegally will not be deported.”

— “the National Register of Citizens (NRC) was not an agenda of the ruling BJP, rather it is the agenda of national security. The infiltrators were moving in the country and causing threat to the security of the nation, and that could not be called agenda of the BJP.”

What Mamata Banerjee Said

— “Does the government have a plan to rehabilitate all those whose names are missing from the list or will they be forcefully evicted.”

— "People are being isolated through a game plan. We are worried because people are being made refugees in their own country. It’s a plan to throw out Bengali speaking people and Biharis. Consequences will be felt in our state also. Names of people with Bengali surnames, both Hindus and Muslims, who have been living in Assam for 50 or even 100 years, have not been included in the NRC final draft despite the applicants having all necessary documents.”

— "There could be ‘civil war and bloodbath’ as 40 lakh people are excluded from the list.”

— "The BJP is finished as the opposition is united to defeat it in the 2019 general elections.”

— “I am not BJP’s servant to reply to any of their statements. My concern is regarding the 40 lakh people whose names are not in the list (NRC). BJP is politically tensed because they know they won’t win the 2019 elections.”

— "It's a shame that my MP's were heckled and assaulted in Assam despite the assurance of the home minister. What is the BJP afraid of?"
| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta
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