Amid Durga puja fervour all eyes on Amit Shah's seminar on NRC today
Kolkata, 0ct 01: Union Home Minister Amit Shah is scheduled to visit Kolkata on Tuesday to speak on National Register of Citizens (NRC) and Citizenship Amendment Bill at Netaji Indoor Stadium.
All eyes are on Shah's seminar on the contentious NRC and Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. Shah, who is also the BJP president, will visit the city today and inaugurate a community Durga Puja besides addressing the seminar.
This will be Shah's first visit to Bengal after he took the oath for the office of the Union home minister earlier this year.
All eyes are on the seminar, as it is being held following the Assam NRC and the news of NRC that has surrounded entire WB int panic. There have been eleven deaths in the state allegedly due to panic over the implementation of NRC in Bengal.
One can see people queuing at government and municipal offices in the city and across the state to collect their birth certificates and necessary documents to be in readiness should NRC be implemented in the state.
Earlier, Shah had repeatedly said that the NRC exercise will be conducted across the country and Mamata Banerjee-led TMC government in West Bengal had avowed that the NRC exercise will not be allowed in the state.
According to state BJP sources, Shah's seminar is of immense importance as he likely to address all allegations by TMC and "misconceptions" created by it over NRC.
"The TMC has deliberately tried to create a panic in the state over NRC. So Amit Shahji will give us a clear picture over the issue and dispel all the fears and misconceptions," a senior state BJP leader said.
In Assam, names of over 19 lakh people were omitted from the final list which was published on August 31, out of which 12 lakh are Hindus.
The NRC panic that is allegedly gripping people of Bengal. At least eleven deaths have been reported over the NRC fear till now in the state. Recently, WB Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on her Delhi visit met the BJP party's national chief and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, where both the leaders discussed the Assam NRC. The omission of a large number of Hindu Bengalis from the final NRC list in BJP-ruled Assam has apparently created panic among the people.
TMC has been on the offensive by milking the issue of updating the NRC as an "anti-Bengali" move on the part of the saffron party. Earlier, the WB BJP president slammed Mamata and her party leaders opposing plans for the NRC in Bengal.
"The TMC has been opposing NRC to protect Bangladeshi Muslim infiltrators who are its vote bank in West Bengal. But after many Hindus were omitted from the NRC final list in Assam, it is trying to project us as anti-Hindu and an anti-refugee party. This might take a toll on our prospects in Bengal," said a senior state BJP leader, who did not wish to be named.
Meanwhile, TMC secretary-general Partha Chatterjee has demanded that Shah and BJP leadership clarify the exclusion of a large number of Hindus in the final NRC list in Assam.
"BJP has been speaking on implementation of NRC to throw out infiltrators. It should first clarify why such a large number of Hindus were omitted from the NRC list in Assam. Are those Hindus who were omitted from the (NRC) list, infiltrators? BJP should clarify," he said.
Earlier, TMC supremo accused the BJP of indulging in "divisive politics", Mamata also challenged the party to "touch even one citizen on the pretext of implementing NRC".
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 provides for according Indian citizenship to Hindus, Jains, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan after seven years of residence in India instead of 12 years, which is the current norm, even if they do not possess any document. The legislation was passed by Lok Sabha during its winter session on January 8 but could not be cleared by the upper house.
(With PTI input)