- Amit Shah spoke at renaming of UP's Mughalsarai station after BJP icon
- Attacked opposition for stand on Bangladeshi "infiltrators"
- Asks Rahul Gandhi, Congress to say if Assam citizens' list should be mad
Uttar Pradesh's Mughalsarai station turned a platform for political battle today as BJP chief Amit Shah took on the Congress over Assam citizens' list and accused its chief Rahul Gandhi of silence on one basic question: Should there be a list at all.
The BJP has been facing relentless opposition attacks since the draft list of the National Citizens' Register was found to have excluded 40 lakh people. All through last week, the BJP chief has accused the Congress and the rest of the opposition of supporting illegal migration with an eye to votes.
Today, Mr Shah sharpened the attack. "NRC is for taking out Bangladeshis from Assam. Mamata says NRC should not happen, Congress says the same. I ask Rahul Gandhi -- should NRC happen or not? He does not reply," he said. "Should Bangladeshis be taken away or not? I want to ask Congress -- decide whether you want to keep the intruders here or not," he added.
The Congress has not questioned the validity of the exercise. Last week, in a Facebook post, Mr Gandhi had hit out at the government over what he called its "tardy execution".
"The National Register of Citizens (NRC) was initiated by the UPA under Manmohan Singh to fulfil the commitment made in the Assam Accord of 1985. However, the manner in which this exercise has been undertaken by the BJP Governments at the centre and in Assam leaves much to be desired," his post read.
The battle against the citizens' register inside parliament and out, has so far been spearheaded by the Bengal chief minister, who accused the BJP of targeting Muslims of the state in the name of illegal migrants. She also warned that if the centre does not go for an urgent course-correction, there will be "civil war and bloodbath".
Over the last week, Amit Shah had been countering her allegations, contending that the Trinamool chief was playing votebank politics.
Yesterday, at a strategy meeting of the Congress Working Committee, the party's highest decision-making body, fine-tuned its strategy to take on the BJP over the Assam list, vowing to work closely with other opposition parties.
The Mughalsarai Junction railway station in Uttar Pradesh was renamed after RSS ideologue Deen Dayal Uphadyay at a function that was attended by the BJP chief and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. Deen Dayal Upadhyay was found dead in mysterious circumstances near the Mughalsarai station in February 1968.