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'Unconstitutional': WB Minister Says Amit Shah Responsible for Creating Panic Among People in State on NRC

Home Minister Amit Shah said that the Centre will extend the NRC to West Bengal but before that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill will be passed to accord Indian citizenship to all Hindu, Sikh, Jain and Buddhist refugees.

PTI

Updated:October 1, 2019, 10:11 PM IST
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'Unconstitutional': WB Minister Says Amit Shah Responsible for Creating Panic Among People in State on NRC
File photo of West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra.

Kolkata: West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra on Tuesday held Union Home Minister Amit Shah responsible for creating panic among the people of the state with his utterances on the contentious National Register of Citizens.

It is "unconstitutional" on the part of a union home minister to create such panic and the people of Bengal will give him a befitting reply, Mitra told newsmen here.

The situation in the state following the updation of NRC in neighbouring Assam is such that 17 people have died due to the fear of the same happening in Bengal, he claimed.

"Today the Union Home minister Amit Shah created panic among the people of the state over NRC amid the Durga Puja festivities," Mitra told reporters.

Shah said on Tuesday that the Centre will extend the NRC to West Bengal but before that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill will be passed to accord Indian citizenship to all Hindu, Sikh, Jain and Buddhist refugees.

"People of Bengal are being misled about the NRC ... I assure all Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, Jain refugees that they will not have to leave the country. They will get citizenship and enjoy all the rights of an Indian national," Shah said at a seminar on NRC.

Hitting out at Shah, Mitra wondered how a union minister could speak of such division among the people on religious lines.

"This is not supported by the Constitution of India. This is absolutely unconstitutional," he said.

Shah, who is also the BJP president, should have tried to understand the diverse culture of West Bengal instead of coming to the city and creating panic among the people.

Mitra also expressed the fear that he himself might be thrown out of the country because his ancestors belonged to Jessore (now in Bangladesh) and he has no birth certificate t prove that he was born in Calcutta.

"My grandfather is from Jessore. My father was also born there. I was born here in Kolkata but I do not have a birth certificate ... I do not know, I might also be driven out of the country," the septuagenarian TMC leader said.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who is one of the harshest critics of the BJP, said "Please don't create rift among people. Bengal is known to respect leaders of different faiths for ages. None can spoil that".

"Everyone is welcome to our state and enjoy the hospitality of our people. But please don't profess any divisive politics ... It will not work in Bengal," she said at the 95 Pally Puja inauguration without naming the BJP chief.

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