KOLKATA: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday claimed Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah were making contradictory statements on NRC and wondered who was speaking the truth.
Addressing a rally here, Banerjee, who is also the TMC supremo, said there was "no bigger fraud than the BJP", and people should be aware of the party's intentions.
"The prime minister is saying there has been no discussion or proposal on (nationwide implementation of) National Register of Citizens (NRC).
But a few days ago, BJP president and Union Home Minister Amit Shah had said NRC exercise would be carried out across the country.
"Both the statements are contradictory. We wonder who is speaking the truth. They are trying to create confusion," the chief minister said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during a rally in Delhi on Sunday, said his government never discussed a nationwide National Register of Citizens (NRC) since coming to power for the first time in 2014.
"Whatever we have been saying is in public domain. Whatever the BJP has said is in public domain too. It is for people to decide," the TMC chief said.
The BJP is trying to divide India but people of the country will not let that happen, she warned.
"As long as I am alive, I will not allow them to implement CAA or NRC in Bengal and divide the country on religious lines. In Assam, where the BJP is in power, detention centres have been built. In Bengal, we will never build any such centre," the CM asserted.
Banerjee, who led a protest march against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (CAA) and proposed NRC -- from Swami Vivekananda statue at Bidhan Sarani to Gandhi Bhavan in the city -- said Jharkhand has given a befitting reply to "arrogant" BJP by defeating it in the Assembly polls.
"People of this country are not servants of the BJP and their leaders. If they are not treated well, they will give a befitting reply. You (BJP) have already got your reply in Maharashtra and Jharkhand," she said.
Hitting out at BJP working president J P Nadda over his allegation that she was only concerned about her votebank, the CM said no one should lecture her on what were to be done.
"We have done our bit for the Matuas and Namasudhras. Where was the BJP when Matua matriarch Binapani Devi fell ill? It was Mamata Banerjee, who used to look after her," she said, mocking Nadda for taking a ride atop a hood-open jeep, rather than walking alongside his supporters during Monday's rally.
Matuas had moved to Bengal from Bangladesh in large numbers since 1947.
Without naming Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, she also took a dig at him for his recent comments on the law-and-order situation in West Bengal.
"There is a person in Bengal, who can never see anything good going on in the state. Every day, he claims democratic ideals are being compromised with. I would like to ask him if stopping and detaining TMC delegation at Lucknow airport was a reflection of healthy democracy," she stated.
Banerjee, who had been at the forefront of protests against the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the new citizenship law, led three marches and two protest meetings crisscrossing the city since last week.
She is scheduled to address another rally in districts of North Bengal next week.
"On Monday, BJP leaders had conducted a rally in Kolkata, and we didn't stop it. If we had wanted, we could have. We believe in democracy," she said.
Iterating that the contentious law and the NRC won't be allowed in Bengal, Banerjee said it was an irony that a party, which was founded in 1980s, was asking for citizenship documents from 1970.
"We are born here and that is our biggest identity. The BJP does not have the rights to determine our citizenship. Do we have to wear BJP's amulet to prove our citizenship? A party which was formed in 1980 is seeking documents from those who were born in 1950s, 60s, 70s," she added.