MUMBAI: A day after Union Home Minister Amit Shah claimed that BJP will “throw out all infiltrators one by one” by enforcing the National Register of Citizens (NRC), its NDA ally Shiv Sena on Thursday sought to know from him as to when this will be done.
In a strongly-worded article in its mouthpiece Saamana, the Maharashtra-based party said, ''the BJP is determined to throw all infiltrators out of the country. It is good. However, the question is when this will be done.''
It may be noted that Uddhav Thackeray's party had strongly backed the NDA government after it implemented the NRC in Assam and called for conducting a similar exercise in other states of the country.
The Sena article came a day after the Home Minister reiterated that his party and the Centre both are determined to implement the National Register of Citizens (NRC) across the country to identify al those living illegally in the country.
Shah, however, clarified that no Hindu, Sikh, Jain or Buddhist need to worry because they will be accorded Indian citizenship beforehand with the passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.
Addressing a BJP meeting on NRC in Kolkata, Shah made a distinction between Hindu, Sikh, Jain and Buddhists whom he classified as “refugees” while presumably consigning Muslims to the “infiltrator” status and threatening them with eviction.
“Mamata Didi (West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee) says she will not allow the NRC. I am saying that we will not allow a single infiltrator to live in India. No refugee will be asked to leave and no infiltrator will be allowed to stay,” Shah said while citing the abrogation of Article 370 by way of proof that the BJP does what it says.
In response to his remarks, the West Bengal Chief Minister requested Shah not to “create rifts among people”.
“Please don’t create a rift among people. Bengal is known to respect leaders of different faiths for ages. No one can spoil that,” Mamata Banerjee said at an event in Kolkata.
The Trinamool Congress (TMC) sought to project the NRC exercise in Assam as an “anti-Bengali” move after many Bengali-speaking people were left out of the final list of citizens published on August 31.
In the final list, 1.9 million people have been excluded and at least 1 million are believed to be Hindus, a factor that the BJP has sought to play down in its effort to portray the NRC as an exercise to pluck out Muslim migrants from Bangladesh.
Reiterating this line, the BJP chief said the TMC is trying to mislead people on the issue.
“People of Bengal are being misled on the issue of NRC. Mamata Didi is saying that millions of Hindus will have to leave West Bengal. There cannot be a bigger lie than this. I want to assure the people of Bengal NRC will be implemented but nothing of this sort is going to happen,” Shah said.
“I assure all Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, Jain refugees they won’t have to leave the country, they will get Indian citizenship and enjoy all the rights of an Indian national,” said Shah, letting it be known that those expelled would be Muslims.