Accusing the BJP-led government in Assam of trying to convert genuine Indian citizens to foreigners in their own country, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday said that only the All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) has stood by the 40 lakh people of Assam whose names were left out of the National Register of Citizens (NRC).
Banerjee said this while addressing a huge public rally at Dhubri which is located along the Bangladesh border. She said that both the NRC and the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB) are mere lollipops used by the BJP to fool the people of Assam.
"There was a conspiracy being hatched by the BJP to turn genuine citizens to foreigners. I was hurt when I was told that over 40 lakh people were left out from the NRC. I immediately sent some of our party legislators and MPs to Assam to take stock of the situation here. Our members were stopped in the airport and tortured but still we protested against this," Banerjee said.
"Now the Assam government needs central forces everywhere. They (BJP) have destroyed the country and now they are coming to seek the vote once again," she said.
"We are not in power in Assam but we raised our voice against the NRC and stood behind you when you were in trouble. You have not voted for us but still we stood behind you in times of distress," she said.
She said that while some did not find their mothers' names in the NRC, others found their children's names were missing.
"People resorted to committing suicide after failing to find their names in the NRC due to fear. The names of Muslims were left out from the NRC and people, including children, were kept in detention camps," she said.
"The CAB is nothing but a lollypop doled out by the BJP. The BJP is differentiating between the Hindu Bengalis and Muslim Bengalis. I am a Hindu and I know that being a Hindu does not give the right to attack Muslims. I have read the CAB, the amendment will make you a foreigner for 6 years, then you will be given citizenship, why?
"What will you do in the 6 years? What about your job, school and every essential thing. This is nothing but a conspiracy," she said.
Terming the BJP a corrupt party, the West Bengal Chief Minister said that although Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma was involved in the multi-crore Saradha chit fund scam, no action was taken against him.
"Modi Babu knows only to lie. He has been lying all along. He is doing all sorts of corruption in the name of chowkidar," she said.
Saying that Assam and Bengal have always shared a close bond, Banerjee appealed to the people of Assam to vote for the Trinamool Congress.
"Vote for us for one time and we are going to raise the issue of the people in Parliament," she said.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)