While Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that the his government has not even discussed National Register of Citizens (NRC), the Bengali version of BJP’s booklet on the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) that was launched in Kolkata on Sunday as part of the party’s nationwide campaign to “dispel misinformation” about the new law mentions that the citizen’s register NRC will be implemented after this.
The Hindi version of the booklet, however, does not mention anything on NRC.
On the last page of the 23-page booklet, a question reads: “Will it be NRC after this? How much it is needed? And if there is NRC, will Hindus have to go to detention centres like in Assam?” The answer reads: “Yes, after this NRC will be implemented. At least the central government’s intention looks like that. Before that, we would like to clearly mention that no Hindus will have to go to detention centre due to NRC. Those 11 lakh Hindus who are in detention centres in Assam are staying there because of the Foreigners Act.”
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The booklet then goes on to explain that the NRC was implemented in Assam as per the orders of the Supreme Court, and the Foreigners Act was passed by the then Congress government in the state. “The BJP government in Assam did not bring the NRC. Rather, it has decided to move court against the NRC,” the booklet says.
It says that the Hindus lodged in detention centres in Assam would be released after the CAA is implemented. “It is heard that there are around two crore infiltrators in Assam and West Bengal. It is needed to enlist these infiltrators as D-voters. This only speaks volumes about the problem of infiltration in the country. That is why a countrywide NRC is needed,” the booklet says.
When asked why the Hindi version in the same booklet has no such mention of NRC, Sayantan Basu, general secretary in the Bengal unit of BJP, replied, “This booklet in Bengali is not at all the translation of Hindi. Here in Bengal, there has been a lot of confusion over the CAA and NRC. Therefore, the NRC point has been given in the Bengali version of the booklet and it is written there that implementation of NRC is the Central government’s prerogative”.
At a rally in New Delhi on December 22, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that there has been no discussion on implementing NRC in the country as he clarified that the Citizenship (Amendment) Act would not affect Muslims who have been living in the country for generations. Modi had blamed the Congress, other Opposition parties for creating fear in the minds of people.
Reacting to BJP’s claims on NRC in the booklet, the Trinamool Congress said that “truth has come out”. “
“The cat is now out of the bag. The truth of the BJP has come out. We have been saying that the Prime Minister and the Union ministers have been trying to confuse the people by making contradictory statements on NRC. The people of this state and the country will give them a befitting reply,” TMC secretary-general Partha Chatterjee said.