New Delhi, August 1: West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday continued her attack on the BJP over the draft National Register of Citizens in Assam as she accused the ruling party of trying to project everyone whose name did not appear in the list as infiltrators.
“The BJP is playing vote bank politics. The NRC will affect the whole world. Managing borders is a responsibility of the Centre. The central forces see how many infiltrators are crossing into the country. But in the name of infiltrators, they are harassing people,” she alleged.
Banerjee said out of the 40 lakh people, who did not figure in the final draft of the NRC, only1% could be infiltrators.
The Trinamool Congress chief also said the publication of draft NRC will destroy India’s relationship with neighbouring Bangladesh. The register is aimed at distinguishing the state’s citizens from illegal immigrants, mostly from Bangladesh.
Banerjee is reaching out to several political parties during her four-day visit to the national capital to cobble an alliance of opposition parties to take on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the Lok Sabha elections scheduled to be held next year.
She has called for the ouster of the Narendra Modi government and cited the restive situation in Assam arising from NRC, public lynchings and atrocities against Dalits and minorities to drive home her point that “the country needs a change”.
Several BJP leaders were also among those she has held meetings in Delhi. The chief minister met veteran BJP leader LK Advani in his chamber in Parliament on Wednesday for 20 minutes.
“I know Advaniji for a very long time. I went to enquire about his health. It was a courtesy call,” Banerjee said after the meeting.
Suspended BJP MP Kirti Azad met her at her party’s office in Parliament, followed by Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Ahmed Patel, and Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav. Shiv Sena’s member of Parliament Sanjay Raut and former prime minister HD Deve Gowda was also among those she met.
She had met Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar and his daughter and member of Parliament Supriya Sule, besides BJP’s Yashwant Sinha and Shatrughan Sinha and lawyer Ram Jethmalani on Tuesday.
Banerjee said she has appealed to all opposition parties to send their delegations to Assam.
“I have also urged Yashwant Sinha (former BJP leader and a Union minister) to go to Assam,” she said.
“Assam is the border of our Bengal. It will affect us also. It is our neighbour, will we not raise our voice if our neighbour is unhappy?” she asked.
The BJP has questioned Banerjee over her commitment to national security and its president Amit Shah alleged that she saw a “vote bank” in illegal immigrants while his party was looking at the security of the country and rights of its citizens. (Agencies)