Four days after West Bengal chief minister and Trinamool Congress president Mamata Banerjee had described the NRC updation in Assam as a conspiracy to evict Bengalis from the state, Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) president Ripun Bora on Sunday here said her statement was immature, unwanted and not based on facts.
“West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s statement on the National Register of Citizens updation in Assam is immature, unwanted, and not based on facts. We can never support or endorse what she has said,” Bora, whose term as APCC president was extended by Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday, said.
Bora also said that the West Bengal chief minister was not well aware of the Assam situation and was probably not properly briefed. “She is not well aware of the NRC updation. Whoever had briefed her had not done it properly. Her statement is not based on facts,” the APCC president said.
Banerjee had, at a rally in Birbhum district in West Bengal on January 3 described the NRC updation process in Assam as a design to evict Bengalis living in Assam for decades. She had accused the BJP government of trying to evict the Bengalis from Assam and warned the ruling party not to play with fire.
Interestingly, Assam MP and AICC Women’s wing president Sushmita Dev had also reportedly supported West Bengal chief minister and TMC president Mamata Banerjee on the issue of harassing Bengalis in the name of NRC updation. But APCC president Ripun Bora said Dev’s views were personal and had nothing to do with the Congress party.
“What Sushmita Dev, MLA Kamalakshya Dev Purakayastha and former minister Siddique Ahmed have said in connection with the NRC updation are all personal remarks and has no connection with the APCC. Those are not the views of the APCC,” Bora said. While Dev had reportedly hailed Mamata Banerjee for showing concern for Bengalis in Assam, Congress MLA Purakayastha and former Congress minister Ahmed had also complained that the NRC was a kind if harassment to Bengalis.
Bora said the Congress was 100 per cent in favour of full implementation of the Assam Accord. “We honour the Assam Accord and the NRC has to be updated according to provisions of the Assam Accord,” the APCC president said.
Meanwhile, Debabrata Saikia, Leader of the Opposition in the Assam Assembly has written to the Registrar General of India, asking why the NRC process had left out 48 lakh applicants from preparation of the first part draft, and how many of them were Bengalis. “Why were names of 48 lakh left out of the first draft NRC in utter disregard to the Supreme Court directives? How many of them belong to the Bengali community?” Saikia, in a letter to the RGI, sent on Saturday, asked.
Saikia, in his letter also suspected that there was a “well thought out political design” to delay the NRC or embroil the process in turbulence. “There seems to be a well thought-out political design to delay, or failing that, to embroil the NRC process in turbulence. Ominous signs of a conspiracy to create distrust and disharmony between separate communities along linguistic lines are beginning to emerge into the open,” Saikia said.