BJP President Amit Shah said on Tuesday said that the Centre will extend the NRC to West Bengal, but before that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill will be passed to accord Indian citizenship to all Hindu, Sikh, Jain and Buddhist refugees.
Slamming this statement, AIMIM President, Asaduddin Owaisi tweeted that ‘According to the HM, the only people who must fear the NRC are Muslims.’ Continuing further, he also urged Amit Shah to read the Constitution as it forbids granting of citizenship on the basis of religion.
The Union Home Minister said that, "People of Bengal are being misled about the NRC ... I assure all Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, Jain refugees that they will not have to leave the country. They will get citizenship and enjoy all the rights of an Indian national," Shah said at a seminar on NRC.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who is one of the harshest critics of the BJP, said "Please don't create rift among people. Bengal is known to respect leaders of different faiths for ages. None can spoil that".
"Everyone is welcome to our state and enjoy the hospitality of our people. But please don't profess any divisive politics ... It will not work in Bengal," she said at the 95 Pally Puja inuguration without naming the BJP chief.
The TMC has sought to project the NRC exercise in Assam as an "anti-Bengali" move after nearly 12 lakh Bengali speaking people, including a large number of Hindus, were left out of the final list of citizens published on August 31.
---With inputs from PTI