Kolkata: Notwithstanding the growing resentment in Bengal over some 40-lakh people, mostly Bengalis, being excluded from the draft National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam, BJP today took out a rally in Kolkata demanding a similar exercise in Bengal.
The saffron party has also accused Trinamool supremo and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of trying to foment a riot in Assam by commenting against the draft NRC.
The BJP rally started from Deshapriya Park near Gariahat and culminated at Hazra Crossing close to the Chief Minister’s residence. At the front of the rally was a banner in Bengali that read: “NRC must be initiated in West Bengal.”
BJP state women wing president Locket Chatterjee, youth wing general secretary Raju Banerjee, state BJP spokesperson Sayantan Basu, and state unit leader Jayprakash Majumdar were at the forefront of the rally. State BJP president Dilip Ghosh joined them later when a delegation went to the Raj Bhavan.
Emerging out of Raj Bhavan, Ghosh said that they have served a memorandum to Governor KN Tripathi on two demands. First, an Assam-like NRC should be prepared in Bengal to weed out illegal immigrants. Second, West Bengal should not be renamed as “Bangla” as has been decided by the state government.
“To our estimate, there are as many as 1-crore Bangladeshi immigrants in West Bengal. These immigrants are eating into the resources, jobs everything of Bengal’s genuine citizens be it a Hindu or a Muslim. Hence, an NRC is a must in Bengal as well,” the state BJP president said.
Women wing president Chatterjee said that Mamata Banerjee was trying to foment a riot in Assam by playing the Bengali sentiment.
“The fact is, in Assam, the NRC has been updated not to deprive the Bengalis but to identify the citizens and the illegal immigrants. But Mamata is trying to trigger a riot by dividing people as Bengalis and non-Bengalis,” she said.