ITANAGAR: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of “fooling” the people of Assam by doling out the twin “lollipops” of National Register of Citizens (NRC) and Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 to them.
"Not just the Muslims, some 22 lakh Hindus were left out of the NRC. We are fighting to get their names included in the list. No political party supported them but we were always with them,” she told a crowd at a rally in Lower Assam’s Dhubri.
Some 800 km east of Dhubri in Arunachal’s Bordumsa, BJP chief Amit Shah did not dwell on the two issues but he praised the PM for the guns falling silent in the Northeast. His reference was to declining insurgency-related incidents.
Over 40 lakh people were left out of the NRC and Banerjee said her Trinamool Congress stood by those who could not make it to the list.
“Soon after the draft NRC was published, I had sent a team of my party to Assam. They were not allowed to go out of the airport (in southern Assam’s Bengali-majority Silchar) and harassed,” she said.
The draft NRC contains the names of those who could produce prescribed documents establishing that they have been living in the country from before March 24, 1971. According to the Assam Accord of 1985 which the then Rajiv Gandhi government had signed with All Assam Students’ Union, the illegal immigrants, who migrated to India after March 24, 1971, are to be detected and deported. The NRC is being updated in deference to that cut-off date.
Banerjee alleged through the Citizenship Bill’s passage, the Modi government was trying to make genuine Indians foreigners.
“The NRC and the Citizenship Bill are two lollipops being doled out by the BJP to fool people and deprive them of their rights,” she alleged. The Trinamool Congress is contesting in nine of Assam’s 14 Parliamentary seats.
At Bordumsa, Shah sang paeans to credit Modi for the return of peace to the Northeast.
“Modi Ji has brought a lot of changes to the Northeast. Five years ago, there was no sign of development and corruption was rampant. Today, the noises of bombs and bullets are not heard. The Modi government has been instrumental in bringing peace to the region,” Shah claimed.
He also claimed that the region was marching on the road of development and that the NDA government had brought stability.
“Morarji Desai was the last PM to attend a meeting of the North Eastern Council (NEC). After a gap of 40 years, Modi Ji had attended an NEC meeting in Shillong and worked towards accelerating the pace of development in the Northeast,” Shah said.