Targeting the BJP-led central government, TMC supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday asserted that her party will not allow another “partition of Bengal” in the name of NRC.
Banerjee on Thursday took to the streets to protest against the NRC in Assam. Addressing party workers at the end of a rally in north Kolkata, she warned the BJP not to “play with fire”.
“Before Independence, there was a partition of Bengal against which Rabindranath Tagore wrote songs and held Rakhsha Bandhan….do not try to partition Bengal in the name of NRC. Do not play with fire and make no mistake, we are ready to defend the country when needed,” Banerjee said.
“I want to make it very clear today that we will not let the BJP implement NRC in Bengal in the name of language, religion, caste and creed. Those who live in Bengal are all citizens of this state. Some may speak in Bengali, others speak in Hindi or Urdu. This is the diversity and culture of Bengal,” she added.
Referring to NRC in Assam, she said, “Out of the 19 lakh people who have been left out, 12 lakh are Hindus and one lakh Gorkhas. There are Hindi-speaking people, Muslims and Buddhists who have been excluded. There are many who have been left out despite submitting birth certificates and identity cards. I am a citizen of independent India. How many times do I have to prove my citizenship?”
Banerjee said Trinamool leaders cannot be silenced with the fear of investigation agencies.
She also slammed the Centre for its attempts to privatise government entities and claimed that the country is witnessing an “economic landslide”.