Mamata asks TMC leaders to up the ante against NRC Kolkata, Nov 7 (PTI) Trinamool Congress supremo M

Mamata asks TMC leaders to up the ante against NRC Kolkata, Nov 7 (PTI) Trinamool Congress supremo MamataBanerjee on Thursday asked her party leaders to vigorouslycampaign against the National Register of Citizens (NRC) issueand asserted that the TMC does not support discrimination onthe basis of caste, creed or religion.

Without naming the BJP, Banerjee pointed out that somepeople are saying those who have taken shelter in the countryfrom Bangladesh will be given citizenship after amending theCitizenship Amendment Bill.

'It must be remembered that those who came over fromEast Bengal (currently Bangladesh) as refugees are citizens ofour country,' the West Bengal chief minister said recallingaccords between former heads of the two countries.

She asked how many times one has to prove his or hercitizenship and how many identity cards they would have toget.

Both the ruling TMC and opposition BJP have made theNRC an issue in West Bengal.

Trinamool Congress leaders have been claiming that theBJP is creating panic over the NRC and the situation in WestBengal is such that several people have died due to the fearthat the exercise would be implemented in the state.

BJP president Amit Shah had last month asked stateparty workers to start making people aware of the Citizenship(Amendment) Bill to dampen this campaign of the TMC.

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill provides foraccording Indian citizenship to Hindus, Jains, Christians,Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis from Bangladesh, Pakistan andAfghanistan after six years of residence in India instead of12 years currently even if they do not possess any document.

After an extended working committee meeting of theparty in which MLAs and MPs were also invited on Thursday,Banerjee said the leaders were asked to campaign on the NRCissue and strengthen their relationship with the people.

The TMC has been steadfastly opposing the NRC claimingit is only a tool for harassment and discrimination among thepeople, while the BJP says Banerjee is against the exercisebecause of vote bank politics.

The TMC supremo also attended a meeting of SC/ST cellof the party at its headquarter, before chairing the extendedworking committee meeting.

The party has lost Lok Sabha seats in several NorthBengal constituencies and some in South Bengal where scheduledcaste, scheduled tribe and OBC populace have a strongpresence.

Poll strategist Prashant Kishor attended both themeetings, party sources said.

Kishor has been roped in by the TMC following its notso impressive result in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

To a question, the chief minister said she is keenlywaiting for the Supreme Court verdict on the Ayodhya disputecase.

She said she will attend a ceremony on Guru NanakDev's 550th Birth Anniversary at a Gurdwara in Siliguri onNovember 12.

Banerjee said she will also attend the inauguration ofIndia-Bangladesh day-night Test match at Eden Gardens on aninvitation by the newly-elected BCCI president Saurav Ganguly.

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is alsoscheduled to attend the event. PTI AMRNN NN