KOLKATA: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday lashed out at the BJP-led Centre over Assam's National Register of Citizens (NRC), calling it an attempt to isolate Bengalis, Biharis and Hindus out of the state.
"West Bengal will suffer because of this. There will be huge ramifications of this (Assam NRC). Where will these 40 lakh displaced persons stay? Bangladesh won't take them back," said the Chief Minister.
Alleging vote and divisive politics by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Mamata said, "For how long will you keep lynching, play divide policy? Where will the 40 lakh people whose names have been deleted go? Does Centre have any rehabilitation programme for them? Ultimately it is Bengal which will suffer. It's just vote politics by BJP."
"There were people who have Aaadhar cards and passports but still their names are not in the draft list. Names of people were removed on the basis of surnames also. Is the government trying to do forceful eviction?
"Then if you hit Bengalis will they not hit back? If you attack Biharis, Marathis or Gujaratis, will they not hit back?" she countered, adding, "Remember there are Assamese, Biharis in West Bengal too."
The Trinamool supremo claimed that the Centre did not even consult West Bengal government before taking this huge step.
"Nobody even thought of consulting us (WB). I will appeal to the Home Ministry that these people need to be saved for the sake of humanity. Even the UN resolution says international refugees need to be protected," she said.
Mamata further alleged there's no channel of communication between the Centre and the state.
"We need to find a channel to raise our objections with the Centre. Our channel of communication is now closed," said the TMC chief, in a veiled attack against BJP.
"These people have left their homes and jobs. And they are being forced to shift out of state forcefully," she added.
Earlier in the day, the much-awaited second and final draft of Assam's National Register of Citizens (NRC) was released. Out of a total of 3.29 crore people, 2,89,83,677 (two crore eighty nine lakh, eighty three thousand six hundred and seventy seven) people have been found eligible to be included in the National Register of Citizens.
Names of 40.07 lakh applicants did not find a place in the historic document, touted to be a proof of Assamese identity.