Kolkata: Launching a scathing attack on West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Congress president Rahul Gandhi for opposing the NRC in Assam, BJP chief Amit Shah today said the two leaders should clarify whether the country came first for them or vote bank.
Pointing out that the Assam accord was signed by former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, Shah said at that time, the Congress had no problems with the National Register of Citizens (NRC).
He alleged that for the sake of vote-bank politics, Gandhi was not making his stand clear on illegal migration from Bangladesh.
Attacking Banerjee in her backyard, Shah accused her party, the Trinamool Congress (TMC), of “patronising infiltration from Bangladesh as well as corruption”.
Addressing a well-attended public rally here, the BJP chief began his speech with the slogan of uprooting the TMC government from Bengal and said in order to do that, he would visit all the districts of the state.
“Why do you (Banerjee) want to keep the Bangladeshi infiltrators? You should make your stand clear,” he said, adding that the TMC chief was against the NRC for “vote-bank politics”.
Alleging that the Bangladeshi infiltrators were a vote bank of the previous Communist government in the state and now, they had become a vote bank of the TMC, Shah said, “Rahul Gandhi and Mamata didi should clarify whether national security is important for them or vote bank. For the BJP, the country comes first.”
Accusing the TMC of spreading the propaganda that the refugees would be driven out of the country, he said, “I assure all the refugees that nothing will happen to them.”
The BJP-led central government had brought the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 for this purpose, Shah said.
The bill, introduced in the Lok Sabha in 2016, seeks to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955 to provide citizenship to the illegal Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian migrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
“But the Congress and the TMC should clarify whether they agree with the bill or not,” the BJP chief said.
Saying some people talked about the human rights of the illegal migrants, he wondered what would happen to the human rights of the citizens of Bengal — both Hindus and Muslims. “They do not bother about that,” Shah said.
Referring to posters displaying “Anti-Bengal BJP to leave Bengal”, he said the saffron party was neither anti-Bengal nor anti-Bengali, but was against the “misrule” of the TMC.
Giving a call for ousting the TMC government from Bengal, Shah claimed that the party patronised corruption and wondered where did the “huge funds” provided to the state by the 14th Finance Commission go.
He said the people of Bengal had given a chance to the Congress, the Communists and the TMC, but “they failed to usher in development. Give a chance to the BJP under Narendra Modi. We will bring in development”.
Alleging that the TMC government tried to put hurdles in the way of immersion of Durga idols, Shah said, “Once the BJP comes to power in the state, Durga puja, Saraswati puja will be celebrated with fanfare. Until the BJP assumes power in Bengal, our vijay rath (victory chariot) will not stop.”
The BJP chief also claimed that television news channels were blacked out by the TMC in various parts of West Bengal to prevent people from listening to his address.