Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee flagged the issue of citizens' register during her meeting with Union Home Minister Amit Shah today. Pointing out that 19 lakh people, many of whom were "genuine voters" have been left out of the citizenship registry in Assam, she told him that the exercise is not required in Bengal.
The implementation of the citizens' list in Assam - which left out 19 lakh people - has been widely criticised owing to the omissions. Even a section of BJP leaders in Assam have criticised it, claiming the list left out a number of Bengali Hindus who were among the party's core voter group.
"I handed over a letter to him (Amit Shah), told him that of the 19 lakh people left out of NRC, many are Hindi speaking, Bengali speaking and local Assamese. Many genuine voters have been left out. This should be looked into. I submitted an official letter," Mamata Banerjee said. "As Chief Minister of a state with boundaries with foreign counties --Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal -- it is part of my duty," she added.
The Bengal Chief Minster had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday, but said she did not discuss the issue of NRC since it was a "government to government" meeting and they had only discussed developmental issues.
Yesterday, Mr Shah had reiterated the government's plan to introduce National Registry of Citizens throughout the country and take action against illegal immigrants.
He said the people have already given their approval for the nationwide-implementation of the NRS through their verdict of the 2019 elections, since he had raised the matter in every pre-election rally he addressed.
"He did not say anything about NRC in West Bengal. I have already clarified my stand that NRC is not needed in West Bengal," Mamata Banerjee later told reporters. "My stand and that of Bihar CM Nitish Kumar is the same -- we don't need a NRC in our states," she added.
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