Stepping up her attack on the BJP over the exclusion of 40 lakh people in Assam from the draft National Register of Citizens (NRC), West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC leader Mamata Banerjee Tuesday accused the “ruling party” of discriminating against and “questioning the Indianness of Indians” who do not support it, and warned that this would lead to “a civil war, a bloodbath”.
Speaking at a Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India conclave on ‘Love Your Neighbour’, Banerjee said: “You cannot just drive away people who have been staying here for 100, 200, 30 years… I am shocked to see how Indians became foreigners… shocked to see that even relatives of former President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed have not made it to the NRC.”
“Who are they to decide who can stay in the country and who cannot? This is a ploy to target particular communities, this is to isolate them. At this rate, there will soon be a civil war, a bloodbath. Already, Section 144 has been imposed in the state… Divide and rule is not the politics of India. The politics of India is tolerance. What is happening is very dangerous,” she said.
Asked about BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargya’s statement that after Assam, there will be an effort to identify illegal immigrants from Bangladesh in West Bengal, Banerjee said: “They will never come to power there. Who are they to decide?”
“I am not saying all are bad. Sushma Swarajji and Rajnath Singhji are good people. Potato and potato chips can’t be equal,” she said. On Wednesday, Banerjee is scheduled to meet Congress leader Sonia Gandhi and visit Parliament.
BSP chief Mayawati joined Banerjee in slamming the BJP, and called the publication of the draft NRC “anarth”, a catastrophe that would bring more grief to the minorities and the disadvantaged in an election year.
She said “Dalits, tribals, OBCs and religious minorities, especially Muslims, should not rely upon BJP-led governments”. In a statement, she said citizenship of more than 40 lakh religious and linguistic minorities has been almost ended in BJP-ruled Assam after the NRC draft publication. The BJP, she said, has achieved a major objective of forming governments at the Centre and in Assam.