Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Amit Shah said on Friday that if his party was voted back to power at the Centre, it will implement the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in West Bengal and smoke out all the infiltrators from the state.
Addressing an election rally here in North Bengal, Shah focused on issues such as infiltration and the airstrikes in Pakistan's Balakot and accused the Mamata Banerjee-led government of doing "vote bank politics" and indulging in "appeasement politics".
Launching a scathing attack on Chief Minister Banerjee, Shah said the BJP will end "vote bank politics" in the state if it can achieve its target of winning 23 Lok Sabha seats in Wes Bengal.
"Mamata Banerjee thinks the infiltrators will help her sail through this election. But the Modi government will come back to power. We will bring NRC to Bengal. Each and every infiltrator will be identified and thrown out," Shah told the rally held in support of BJP candidate John Barla.
"For these people (Banerjee and her party leaders), the security of the country is not important. Votes of infiltrators are more important... I have no fear to announce that if you help us win 23 seats from Bengal, we will ensure that each and every infiltrator staying here is smoked out," he said.
Accusing Banerjee of trying to mislead the Hindu and Buddhist refugees in the state about the impacts of the NRC, Shah said the BJP government, while implementing the Citizenship Amendment Act, will ensure that the rights of all the refugees were protected.
Coming down heavily on Banerjee on the Balakot issue, Shah asserted that the Modi government will reply to Pakistan's bullets with bombs.
"Mamata has recently become very angry with us (the BJP government). I was wondering what was the matter. Later journalists told me that she was annoyed because Modiji entered Pakistan and conducted air strikes on terrorists," Shah said.
He alleged that for people like Banerjee and certain opposition leaders who were questioning the air strikes, the country's security was less important than securing their vote banks.
"Mamata (Banerjee), Rahul Baba (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. Should they be punished or not? Shouldn't the terrorists and Pakistan be given a befitting reply," he asked.
"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.
Shah also flayed Banerjee for questioning the timing of "Mission Shakti" announcement and claimed that the "missile" of Bengal's voters will wipe her out of the state.
Pulling up Banerjee for her alleged minority appeasement, Shah charged the Chief Minister with attempts to impose Urdu in schools.
The BJP President also said the budget for Madarasa education was more than the higher education budget of the entire state.
"Mamata, who talks about Bengal's culture, is trying to impose Urdu in schools. Even in schools where there are no Urdu students, she is recruiting Urdu teachers," Shah said while addressing the rally.
The BJP leader said he had no problem with Banerjee giving honorarium to Imams (Muslim priests), but Hindu priests should also get the same.
He said the budget for Madarasa education was Rs 4,000 crore, while "the higher education budget of entire West Bengal was less than Rs 4,000 crore".
Slamming Shah for his comments that the Modi government will implement NRC in the state if it returned to power, the Trinamool Congress said it would not allow any such move.
"First and foremost, they (the Modi government) won't come to power. They will rather be evicted from everywhere they are in power... They are trying to drive out Indian citizens and divide the society for a few votes, but the people of Bengal as also from the other states will resist them," said state Education Minister and Trinamool Congress General Secretary Partha Chatterjeehe.Ridiculing Shah's claim that the BJP would win 23 of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state, Chatterjee doubted whether the saffron outfit will win even a single seat.
Another Trinamool leader and Bengal Minister Firhad Hakim said that as long as party supremo Mamata Banerjee was alive, the BJP would not be able to implement NRC in the state.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)