BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya on Thursday said that if the Trinamool Congress government does not implement the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in West Bengal, then the Centre will. He also said that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was opposing the Bill as she was afraid of “losing her minority vote bank”.
“The bordering districts of West Bengal have become a hub of infiltrators because of Mamata Banerjee’s minority appeasement politics. This Bill is aimed at giving citizenship to Hindu refugees in the country. Why does she have to oppose the historic Bill? She is simply afraid of losing her minority votebank,” said Vijayvargiya, who celebrated the passing of the Bill by Parliament by distributing sweets to people outside state BJP headquarters in Kolkata.
The Rajya Sabha on Wednesday approved the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, paving the way for giving Indian citizenship to non-Muslim migrants from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
“The TMC should come out clean why they are opposing Hindu refugees from getting citizenship. I dare TMC government not to implement it and deprive the Hindu refugees from getting citizenship. If TMC does not implement CAB, the Centre will take steps to do it,” he added.
The BJP leader also said that communities like Matuas, Rajbanshis, Namshudra in Bengal need not worry “as all of them would get citizenship they can live in this country with self-respect”.
The BJP leader also asserted that all refugees in the state will be given citizenship within a hundred days. “There is a large number of refugees in West Bengal. They will be given citizenship within a hundred days. We will appeal to the Centre to expedite this process and we hope that the state government will act accordingly to grant them citizenship,” he added.
Reacting to the BJP leader’s statement, TMC secretary general Partha Chatterjee said neither Mamata Banerjee nor the TMC government need to take lessons from BJP on being more compassionate towards refugees. “The less BJP talks about being more compassionate towards refugees the better. We all have seen how BJP has turned 14 lakhs Hindus into refugees through the NRC in Assam. They (BJP) should first answer questions on it and then lecture others. We stick to our stand that both NRC and CAB are against the principles of the Constitution,” he added.
The BJP, meanwhile, has decided to reach out to people “to make them understand the importance of the citizenship Bill”. “We will not let other parties to create confusion regarding the Bill and mislead people. Therefore, we have decided to visit every house in the state and make them understand the importance of CAB. We will soon launch a door-to-door campaign,” said a senior BJP leader.
With PTI inputs