Friday, Sep 21, 2018 | Last Update : 09:41 AM IST

Mamata Banerjee in spot over ‘U-turn on illegals’

THE ASIAN AGE. | YOJNA GUSAI
Published : Aug 3, 2018, 5:51 am IST
Updated : Aug 3, 2018, 6:52 am IST

2005 video shows Mamata taking contradictory position on Bangladeshi migrants.

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee (Photo: AP)
 West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee (Photo: AP)

New Delhi: Trinamul Congress chief and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee may be leading the so-called crusade against the ongoing exercise of updating the National Register of Citizens in Assam to weed out illegal migrants and predicting a “blood bath and civil war” over the issue, but a Lok Sabha recording of how she had made exactly the opposite argument in 2005 has gone viral on the YouTube.

Ms Banerjee had then claimed that illegal migrants from Bangladesh had spelt disaster for West Bengal, which was then under the Left party rule. The BJP is expected to tear into Ms Banerjee’s “opportunistic and contradictory stand” on the basis of the video, which has now gone viral.

The BJP has asked its social media team to circulate the video and also engage the party’s supporters in highlighting how Ms Banerjee is now taking a contradictory stand on the same issue for appeasement and votebank politics.  

Ms Banerjee, who was a BJP ally in 2005 had flung papers at the then Lok Sabha deputy Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal after she was not allowed to raise the issue of illegal migrants in West Bengal and then walked out in a huff. Another recording shows Ms Banerjee vociferously supporting the then Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee while he was speaking against the migrants.

Ms Banerjee’s contradictory stand on the issue was highlighted by senior BJP leader and Union minister Arun Jaitley, in his blog on Wednesday. Mr Jaitley had mentioned how Ms Banerjee had in 2005 asserted that “The infiltration in Bengal has become a disaster now... I have both the Bangladeshi and the Indian voters list. This is a very serious matter.  I would like to know when would it be discussed in the House?.” 

In his blog, Mr Jaitley reminded her that “India’s sovereignty is not a plaything” and sovereignty and citizenship are the “soul of India” not the “imported votebanks”.

Incidentally, for the TMC, its stand on the NRC issues have led to a rebellion within the party with its Assam unit chief Dwipen Pathak and some other senior leaders quitting the party and accusing the central leadership of trying to malign Assam’s image. Mr Pathak also accused the TMC supremo of misusing the issue for TMC’s political existence in West Bengal.

However, Ms Banerjee and her party now claim that the NRC has led to “forceful eviction” and that people have become “refugees” in their own state and slammed the Centre for trying to divide states. Objecting to her statement that the NRC will drive out Bengalis from Assam, Mr Pathak said that her statement was meant to create disturbance.

Tags: mamata banerjee, national register of citizens, arun jaitley
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi