Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national president Amit Shah, asserted on Saturday that no refugee (read Bengali Hindu) will be send back from India.
Addressing a huge rally at the heart of Kolkata on Saturday, Shah said the National Register of Citizens (NRC) updating in Assam has been targeted for malicious propaganda by Trinamul Congress and its leader Mamata Banerjee.
“They are trying to project us as anti-Bengali. Nothing is far from truth,” said the BJP president.
He said the BJP government at the Centre was determined to bring in to effect the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 which will provide citizenship to all persecuted minorities from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
“We are committed to bring about this amendment bill to protect the minorities who have fled these countries. We will protect all bona fide refugees,” said Shah adding that ‘the NRC is an exercise to identify illegal infiltrators, not refugees.”
He alleged that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had opposed illegal migration when her party was part of NDA.
“She has forcefully raised the issue in Parliament in 2005, but now she is trying to protect the illegal infiltrators. I ask her why?” asked Shah.
Shah’ s pitch for defending refugees and bringing into effect the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 was clearly aimed to defuse the Trinamul propaganda that the NRC was aimed at depriving Bengalis of Indian citizenship.
“When the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2018 comes up for voting in Parliament, will the Trinamul Congress support it?” was how Amit Shah threw the ball back in Mamata’s court.
“Are vote banks more important than national interest !” rebuked Shah.
But though Shah defended the NRC updating in Assam, he did not explicitly state it would be done in West Bengal even if the BJP cane to power.