Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday made it clear that there will be no detention camps in West Bengal. Speaking at an administrative review meeting in Uttar Kanya (branch secretariat) in Siliguri, Banerjee once again asserted that there will be no National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Bengal.
“I say this with all responsibility and in presence of all government officers that we have no plans to carry out NRC exercise in our state. I am saying this on behalf of West Bengal government. A state government looks after the 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,” Banerjee said.
The chief minister further said the Trinamool Congress had opposed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Parliament as it should not be done on the basis of religion.
Banerjee said, “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… What will that person do for six years? And what will be his future after six years?”
Recently, CPM state secretary Surjyakanta Mishra said if the Centre tried to build detention camps in Bengal, the party would lead people to demolish such structures.
The statements from political leaders in Bengal came following Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s remarks on NRC.
During an interview with a television channel last week, Shah said the government was making preparations for building detention camps for illegal citizens.
Reacting to Banerjee’s statement on Tuesday, BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha said she was no one to decide on implementing of Citizenship (Amendment) Bill and NRC.
“Mamata Banerjee has no power to decide whether to implement NRC or Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. NRC was held in Assam following a Supreme Court verdict, it 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 Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, and then there will be NRC in Bengal. I believe that Citizenship (Amendment) Bill will be placed in Parliament in the Winter Session,” said Sinha.