Kolkata: Chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday called the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019, which is going to be tabled by the Narendra Modi government in the ongoing Winter Session of the Parliament, a “trap” like the National Register of Citizens (NRC) to drop the legal citizens out of the country. The Trinamul Congress supremo also claimed that she had spearheaded a movement to protect the refugees, when she became an MP from Jadavpur for the first time, early in her political career.
Addressing a meeting at Ras Mela Maidan in Cooch Behar, she told the crowd, “The Central government is going to introduce the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. I want to tell you it is nothing but another trap like the NRC. It is a trap to exclude Bengalis and Hindus from the list of legal citizens and make them refugees in their own countries. After our government came to power in the state, we have taken steps to grant citizenship to refugees of enclaves in Cooch Behar.”
Ms Banerjee elaborated, “But we never enforced any condition that they would have to be in this country for six years. I have a request to all of you. Do not feel panicked on the NRC. The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill is an alternative of NRC.”
“If anyone tries to play politics here with that then do not forget all the refugees are the citizens of this country. It was only me, who had fought a movement to give land deeds to the refugees. I was then a first time MP from Jadavpur.”
She added, “So, this is a dirty politics to create a rift between the Bengalis and non-Bengalis. All of you are citizens. You do not need to get citizenship again. You have the ration cards, Voter IDs.” Sending a strong message to faction feud plaguing her party, Ms Banerjee cautioned during a rally that her party would not take “poison” for their rivalry.
She told the rank and file, “I still believe that neither there is any group within the Trinamul nor there should be any. There is only one group i.e, Trinamul with twin flowers in a tri-colour. There is no need to think who is more heavyweight. Think all of us are equal. Only then your work will be successful. Party will not see who is fighting with whom within. Party will consume poison for none.”