GUWAHATI: Slamming West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for her statement on the update of National Register of Citizens (NRC), the Assam government today said her words were "derogatory, insulting to Assamese and against the constitution as well as the spirit of Supreme Court".
Assam minister Chandra Mohan Patowary termed Mamata's speech against the NRC update "politically motivated" and made to "appease her vote bank".
"We condemn the statement of Mamata Banerjee. It is derogatory and insulting to people of Assam. It is against the Constitution of India and the spirit of Supreme Court," he said at a press conference here.
Mamata had in a meeting in West Bengal yesterday accused the Centre of "hatching a conspiracy" to drive out Bengalis from Assam by "excluding" their names from the first draft of the NRC, which was published on the midnight of December 31.
"People have gone there (Assam) to work. In the name of NRC, they are planning to drive them out. I warn the BJP government at the Centre not to play with fire. It should not follow a divide and rule policy...this is a conspiracy of the Centre to drive out around 1.8 crore people from the state (Assam)," she had said.
Patowary said Assam was like a "mini-India" and all sections of the society live in the state peacefully.
"She is making such emotional statements to appease her vote bank. She is unhappy that there was no disturbance after the first draft of the NRC was published and could not gain any advantage," the state industry minister said.
Responding to Mamata's allegations of a conspiracy to drive Bengali-speaking people out of Assam, Patowary asked her to submit evidence to the Supreme Court, which is monitoring the updating process of the NRC.
"She should not make such statements without knowing all facts. Both our states enjoy good relations," he added.
The much-awaited first draft of the NRC contains 19 million names, out of the 32.9 million applicants, as citizens of India, in a massive exercise aimed at identifying illegal immigrants in the state that borders Bangladesh.
The Registrar General of India has said that the rest of the applications are at various stages of verification.