Senior Congress leader Abdul Mannan on Wednesday said conducting an NRC like exercise would not be allowed in West Bengal and asked the propagators of this idea that they should not to “play with fire”. Parties should desist from trying to reap political dividends by polarising people in the name of NRC, Mannan said while addressing a convention on the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam.
The complete draft of the NRC which was released on July 30 has left out over 40 lakh applicants. “Where will those having been born 50 years back will go? What is happening to Bengalis and other linguistic minorities in Assam will happen to others also in future, if we can’t resist this dangerous trend to divide people along communal and linguistic lines,” said Mannan, the leader of the Opposition of the West Bengal assembly.
BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha on Tuesday urged upon the Indian Muslims, especially those living in West Bengal to support an NRC like exercise in the state claiming that it is becoming a hub for infiltrators under the Trinamool Congress rule. West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh had also said the NRC will be published in the state on the lines of the one in Assam if his party is voted to power in the state.
Without naming the BJP, Mannan said, “Some people are also talking about conducting the NRC exercise in West Bengal if they came to power in future. We assert this will never be allowed to happen in our state.”
Senior CPI(M) leader Sujan Chakraborty described omission of over 40 lakh applicants in the complete NRC draft as “against humanity”. Besides Bengali-speaking, names of many non-Bengalis were dropped from the final draft list, Chakraborty claimed. “This is not a fight between Assam and Bengal. This is not a fight between Assamese and Bengalis. This is an attack on human beings having lived in the country as bonafide citizens for ages,” he said.
The CPI(M) MLA said he was also against the policy of targeting a particular religious community in the name of deportation. Chakraborty also termed Dilip Ghosh’s statement on conducting an NRC exercise in West Bengal as “audacious”.
Bengali poet Subodh Sarkar also spoke in the convention. The ‘Assam Sanhati Manch’ that organised the convention later took out a protest rally in the city.