KOLKATA: Insisting on the primacy of national security to allay fear among people in West Bengal over the National Register of Citizens (NRC) issue, Union home minister and BJP’s national president Amit Shah on Tuesday said the Citizenship Amendment Bill would be introduced to accord citizenship to Hindu, Sikh, Jain and Buddhist refugees before the NRC is introduced in the state.
“Trinamool is spreading panic, saying lakhs of Hindu refugees will have to leave West Bengal because of NRC. This is a blatant lie. Before extending the NRC to West Bengal, the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill will be passed to accord Indian citizenship to all Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, Jain and Christian refugees. They will enjoy all the rights of an Indian national. After the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, the NRC will be extended to Bengal. Infiltrators will be identified and they will be thrown out of the country,’’ emphasized Shah. “Not a single refugee would have to leave India while not a single infiltrator would be allowed to live in the country.”
Shah, who addressed a seminar at the Netaji Indoor Stadium, said that no country can run smoothly while carrying the burden of so many intruders.
“This has to stop. We are working towards changing Bengal. NRC is a must. We will have to implement NRC to ensure the country’s safety and security.”
The procedure to be followed in Bengal, as per Shah, is different to the one in Assam, where the NRC was effected to identify foreigners and isolate them without the CAB coming into force.
Hitting out at West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for ‘spreading panic’ and saying she would not allow NRC in Bengal, Shah said she was ‘spreading rumour and misleading people.’
This was Shah’s first visit to West Bengal since he assumed charge as Union home minister. Mamata had met Shah last month in Delhi before leading a rally against the NRC in Kolkata last month, in which she had projected the NRC exercise in Assam as an ‘anti-Bengali” move.
‘Assure all refugees not to be scared of Trinamool’
To allay the fears, Amir Shah asked BJP workers to launch a door-to-door campaign and ‘meet each and every refugee’. “Go to their homes. Make them understand what the CAB and NRC are. Assure all refugees, especially Hindus, that they don’t need to be scared because of Trinamool’s campaign,” he said.