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What About Rights of Indians, Amit Shah Asks Oppn on Assam NRC as Mamata Banerjee Warns of 'Civil War'

Accusing both Congress and Trinamool Congress of indulging in vote bank politics, BJP chief Amit Shah asked all opposition parties to clear their stands on the contentious citizenship issue.


Updated:July 31, 2018, 10:55 PM IST
What About Rights of Indians, Amit Shah Asks Oppn on Assam NRC as Mamata Banerjee Warns of 'Civil War'
File photos of Amit Shah and Mamata Banerjee.

New Delhi: A day after the National Register of Citizens (NRC) left out 40 lakh people in Assam in the lurch and unsure of their citizenship, BJP chief Amit Shah and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee attacked each other and questioned the other’s commitment to national security.

Banerjee, who in Delhi to gather support for her federal front, alleged that the NRC exercise was done with a "political motive" to divide people and warned that it would lead to bloodbath and a civil war in the country.

“How will they live in Assam? Where will they get food, shelter, schools?” the West Bengal CM said while referring to those at risk of losing their citizenship. "The NRC is being done with a political motive. We will not let this happen. They (BJP) are trying to divide the people. The situation cannot be tolerated. There will be a civil war, blood bath in the country," Banerjee told a conclave here.

Her remarks drew a sharp response from Amit Shah, who said he was stunned by Banerjee’s comments and asked her to clarify what kind of civil war she was talking about.

He asked opposition parties to make their stand clear on the issue of illegal Bangladeshi immigrants while asserting that NRC will be implemented in Assam "to the last full stop and comma" as his party stands for national security and Indians' rights.

He targeted the opposition asking them if they care more about the rights of Indians or illegal migrants from Bangladesh.

"Opposition is politicising this issue for vote-bank politics. The NRC is an issue about national security and national security is most important for us," Shah said at a press conference on Tuesday.

Soon after the final draft was published on Monday, TMC chief Mamata Banerjee led the opposition attack against BJP, accusing it of turning “Indians into refugees”.

Shah said, “When you are talking about rights, what about the rights of the Assamese people who have lost their jobs because of these illegal migrants? The NRC, which is a result of the Assam Accord, is a step towards protecting the rights of Indians.”

No Indian citizen should be concerned and natives of any other state living in Assam would not be meted out any injustice, Shah said, adding, NRC will be implemented firmly and fairly.

The BJP has seized on the issue that resonates with its broader agenda of nationalism and Hindutva to corner opposition parties in the election year, with Shah pitching the party as one standing for rights of Indians as opposed to its rivals who are concerned with the rights of illegal Bangladeshi immigrants.

The BJP chief further spoke of how the inception of NRC happened in Rajiv Gandhi’s rule when he signed the Assam Accord.

The issue has rocked both houses of Parliament over the past couple of days after which Home Minister Rajnath Singh appealed to the opposition not to politicise the "sensitive" matter as the list has been published on the directives of the Supreme Court and the Centre has "no role" in it.

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| Edited by: Sanchari Chatterjee
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