West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh on Monday said the National Register of Citizens (NRC) will be published, on the lines of the one in Assam, if the saffron party was voted to power in the state.
Supporting the publication of the complete draft of the NRC in Assam, he said some politicians were "shedding crocodile tears" as they were wary that their "vote-bank" politics would come to an end.
Reacting to Ghosh's remarks, Congress and CPM leaders alleged that the BJP leader's statement reflected the anti-Bengali mindset of the saffron party, which was trying to import the Hindi heartland culture in Bengal.
The much-awaited final draft of the NRC was published on Monday in Assam, the only state in the country to have such a document, featuring over 2.89 crore names of the total 3.29 crore applicants in the north-eastern state.
"If we (BJP) are voted to power in Bengal, then we too will implement the NRC in the state. We will send back the illegal immigrants to Bangladesh. Tough days are ahead, we will not tolerate any illegal immigrants in Bengal," Ghosh told reporters.
Those who will support the illegal immigrants will also be thrown out of the country, he said.
"The NRC in Assam is being implemented following the orders of the court (Supreme Court). It was the Congress, which had proposed the idea of the NRC. Now they are speaking against it," Ghosh added.
Those whose names were not in the final draft could appeal for rectification, "but we will never compromise on the security and integrity of our country", he said.
Ghosh came down heavily on West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee for her comments against the NRC in Assam and said she should stop doing vote-bank politics on each and every issue.
"Those who are inviting illegal immigrants and Rohingyas from the neighbouring country should not talk much about the integrity and security of the country," he said.
Expressing concern over the exclusion of 40 lakh names in the complete NRC draft, Banerjee said Indian citizens had become refugees in their own land and alleged that the Centre had resorted to "vote-bank politics".
The chief minister, who flew to New Delhi on Monday, said she would seek time from Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to discuss the issue.
"I am sending a team of party MPs to Assam and if necessary, I will go there too," she added.
The Congress and the Left Front said Ghosh's comments reflected the "anti Bengali" mindset of the BJP.
"The NRC in Assam and Ghosh's statement prove that the BJP is an anti-Bengali party. The people of our state will never accept such a party. It will be a disaster for the entire country and our state," Leader of Opposition in the West Bengal Assembly Abdul Mannan said.
Left Front Legislature Party leader Sujan Chakraborty said, "The BJP is trying to bring in the culture of the Hindi heartland in Bengal. Who are they to tell the people of Assam that they are no longer citizens of India? They will do the same thing if they are voted to power in Bengal," he said.