West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday clarified that the government would not allow setting up of detention centres in the state while once again asserting that the National Register for Citizens (NRC) would not be carried out in Bengal.
Speaking at an administrative review meeting in Siliguri, Banerjee said, “I say this with all responsibility and in the presence of all government officers that we have no plans to carry out NRC in our state. A state government looks after policy implementation. NRC was held in Assam as it was a part of Assam Accord and there is a BJP government there. But here, we run the government. So the question of constructing any detention camp does not arise.”
Mamata Banerjee further said the Trinamool Congress had opposed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Parliament as it should not be implemented on the basis of religion.
“Citizenship Amendment Bill cannot be implemented on the basis of religion. If passed, the bill would render people as foreigners for six years. So Indians, and particularly Bengalis, will become foreigners for six years. What will he do for six years? And what will be his future after six years?” Banerjee asked.
Recently, CPM state secretary Surjyakanta Mishra said if the Centre tried to build detention camps in Bengal, the party would lead the people to demolish such structures.
The remarks by Banerjee come days after Union Home Minister Amit Shah, during an interview with a TV channel, said the Centre was making preparations for building detention camps for illegal citizens.
Reacting to Banerjee’s statement, BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha said she had no authority to decide the implementation of Citizenship (Amendment) Bill and NRC.
“Mamata Banerjee has no power to decide whether to implement CAB or NRC. NRC will take place on the will of the Central government. She has no power to stop its implementation. Amit Shah has said it clearly that first there will be CAB and then there will be NRC in Bengal. CAB will be placed in Parliament in the Winter session,” said Sinha.