Alipurduar: BJP president Amit Shah Friday said his party will replicate the National Register of Citizens (NRC) exercise in West Bengal if re-elected at the Centre to “throw out” infiltrators, but will leave Hindu refugees untouched.
Kicking off the BJP’s poll campaign in the state, Shah accused the ruling TMC of trying to impose Urdu in schools and on the Hindu population of the state. He urged the people to vote for his party.
“We will also bring in the NRC in Bengal and throw out all infiltrators. We will also ensure that the Hindu refugees are not touched. They are very much a part of our country and they will live in this country,” Shah said.
The NRC in Assam has become a contentious issue after the complete draft, released last year, omitted the names of around 40 lakh people who have been residing in the state for several decades.
The BJP president also said the upcoming Lok Sabha polls are all about restoring democracy in the TMC-ruled West Bengal.
“The TMC stands for three Ts -Trinamool, toll and tax. Under the TMC government, syndicates (groups of extortionists) are flourishing in Bengal,” he claimed.
In local parlance, ‘tolabaji’ is roughly understood as an act of organised extortion, he said.
Shah’s sharp criticism of Mamata Banerjee is seen as an attempt by the BJP to expand its base in the state.
The BJP currently has only two of the state’s 42 Lok Sabha seats, and it has set an ambitious target to win 23 seats this time.
Lashing out at opposition parties for questioning the Narendra Modi government over airstrike on terror camps in Balakot in Pakistan and advocating talks with Islamabad to resolve various issues, Shah asserted that this election will hinge on ensuring the safety and security of the country.
“Mamata, Rahul Gandhi, Akhilesh Yadav are all talking about holding a dialogue (with Pakistan). She is trying to appease her vote bank. The terrorists from Pakistan attacked and killed 40 of our brave jawans. Shouldn’t the terrorists and Pakistan be given a befitting reply?” he asked.
The Narendra Modi government has given befitting replies to China and Pakistan, he said, adding that “we are fighting to secure our country.”
“It is India’s right to defend itself. And I can assure you that the Modi government will not spare the terrorists. We will reply to Pakistan’s bullets with bombs,” he said.
Hitting out at Banerjee for questioning the timing of Balakot air strike, the BJP president said the TMC chief is “angry” as she is wary that her vote bank in the state might get affected.
Lambasting the TMC for its opposition to the NRC and charging it with abetting infiltration for its vote bank, Shah said, “Mamata-di should stop misleading people on NRC. She is thinking that only infiltrators will help her to win polls.”
Shah’s statement drew a sharp reaction from the TMC, which said it would never allow an NRC in the state. “We will never allow NRC to happen in Bengal. The BJP will not win a single seat in Bengal nor form the government at the Centre,” TMC secretary-general Partha Chatterjee said.
Shah urged people to vote for the BJP as under the TMC rule “the mother, mother land and the people are suffering”.
The mother, motherland and the people are translations of TMC’s slogan ‘Ma Mati Manush’.
“The love and affection is gone from mothers, infiltrators have taken away the land and people are being killed and brutalised. TMC stands for Trinamool Tolabaji Tax. If you go to schools you need to pay this tax to TMC. You need to pay this tax to get jobs too,” he said.
Shah criticised Banerjee for questioning the timing of the Mission Shakti’s announcement and said the “missile” of Bengal’s voters will wipe her out of the state.
He mocked at Banerjee’s announcement that if the TMC is voted to power at the Centre the flagship employment scheme of 100-day work provision under MNREGA for the rural poor will be extended to 200 days a year and the wages will be doubled.
“She has announced that she will double the MNREGA scheme, but what about the budget for Bengal’s higher education? Why has the state allotted such a paltry sum for it?” he said.