Mamata dividing people over NRC: BJP

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Kolkata : Senior BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya on Saturday alleged that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has changed her stand on illegal immigrants, saying she was trying to make an issue out of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam to divide people.

The BJP leader said Banerjee's protest against the draft NRC was aimed at fulfilling her dream of becoming the Prime Minister.

"It is shameful that someone in the position of a chief minister is trying to divide the people only to pursue her dream of becoming the prime minister," Vijayvargiya, BJP general secretary in-charge of West Bengal, told reporters.

Referring to a 2005 incident in Parliament when Banerjee was a Trinamool Congress MP, Vijayvargiya claimed Banerjee had threatened to resign from Parliament if steps were not taken to curb infiltration from Bangladesh.

"She had shed tears during her speech, but she is now supporting the illegal immigrants because she gets their votes," said Vijayvargiya.

"On August 4, 2005, Banerjee had thrown a bunch of papers at the speaker's podium in Parliament and shed tears while speaking against the illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. She even threatened to resign. We wonder what has happened in the last 13 years that has made her to completely change her views," he said.

"In 2004, the CPI-M used to get the votes of these immigrants. But after coming to power, Banerjee has managed to gain their vote bank. Trinamool Congress is busy doing vote bank politics even at the cost of national security," Vijayvargiya alleged.

The saffron party leader also claimed that Banerjee had gone to Delhi to seek support against the NRC, but "none of the political parties supported her stand on it."

"The Union Home Minister has clearly said it is a draft NRC. The people who have been left out would get a chance to fight their case and submit their documents. But the Bengal Chief Minister is trying to misguide the people," the BJP leader said.

The complete draft NRC was released in Assam on July 30 that has left out over 40 lakh people from the list.

Banerjee strongly criticised it, claiming it was Centre's attempt to drive out a section of Indian citizens.

She also warned that NRC implementation or any attempt to deport people would lead to "civil war and bloodshed".