Mamata opposes CAB, calls it a trap to exclude Bengalis andHindus

(With additional inputs) Coochbehar(WB), Nov 18 (PTI) West Bengal ChiefMinister Mamata Banerjee Monday hit out at the BJP-ruledgovernment at the Centre for trying to introduce theCitizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) in the ongoing winter sessionof Parliament calling it a 'trap to exclude Bengalis andHindus' and expressed her stiff opposition to it.

Banerjee, who has been one of the most vociferouscritics of the National Register of Citizens, iterated herstand of not allowing implementation of NRC in Bengal, as hadbeen said by top BJP leaders.

The winter session of Parliament began on Monday andthe CAB, which seeks to provide Indian citizenship to Hindus,Jains, Christians, Sikhs, Parsis and Buddhists fromBangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan after seven years ofresidence in India even if they do not possess any document,is likely to be introduced during it.

Continuing her attack against arch rival BJP, Banerjeemocked it as the 'biggest sin' which won 18 seats by 'usingcentral forces and buying votes' and 'day dreaming ofconquering Bengal' in the 2021 assembly polls.

She sent out a stern message against infighting in theruling TMC and said those who are in touch with BJP are freeto leave the party as it would help her 'cleanse it oftraitors'.

Banerjee, who was addressing a TMC workers meet atCoochbehar district on the Indo-Bangla border, exudedconfidence of returning to power for the third consecutiveterm in 2021.

'I will not tolerate infighting in my party. Those whoare indulging in infighting are weakening it. Those who arecovertly in touch with BJP are free to leave the party, itwill help us get rid of traitors. Everybody should rememberthat TMC is a single party, there can't be any parallelorganisation in the same name,' Banerjee, who is also the TMCchief, said at the meeting.

'There will not be any groupism in TMC. You (partyworkers) have to reach out to the people and stand by them intheir times of need. I will never allow you to fight amongyourselves and make the party to suffer for it,' she said.

TMC had lost Coochbehar Lok Sabha seat to BJP in the2019 Lok Sabha polls.

Keeping up her vitriolic attack against the saffronparty and its slogan for defeating TMC in 2021 state assemblyelection, Banerjee said 'some fools' are dreaming ofdefeating her just by winning 18 Lok Sabha seats.

'There are some fools who just by getting 18 (LokSabha) seats are day dreaming of deseating us in 2021. Thecommon people can't imagine how they won the Lok Sabha seatsby using central forces and using money power.

'The BJP is the biggest sin of Bengal. They will geta beffiting reply in the assembly polls. We (TMC) willdefinitely come back to power in the next Assembly elections,'she said.

Several BJP leaders have been asserting that thesaffron party would end TMC's rule in the next Assemblyelection after it had won 18 of the 42 Lok Sabha seats inWest Bengal in the last Lok Sabha polls.

Referring to the omission of about 19.6 lakh namesfrom the final NRC list in Assam, she hit out at the BJPsaying 'Those who can't take care of legal citizens andBengalis in Assam are day dreaming of capturing power inBengal. The BJP has to answer for excluding lakhs of Bengalisfrom the final list of NRC and sending them to the detentioncenters'.

Banerjee said, 'We will never allow NRC in Bengal. Noone (in Bengal) will loose their citizenship or will be sentto detention centers as long as we (TMC) are in power inBengal. The central government is now planning to pass CAB.

This is another trap like the NRC to exclude Bengalis andHindus as legal citizens of the country and make them refugeesin their own country. We are completely against it,' she said.

Elaborating on her stand for opposing the Citizenship(Amendment) Bill, Banerjee said, 'If it (CAB) is passed, thenthey will treat you as a foreigner for six years. What willyou do with such people for six years? And then, what willhappen? Does anyone know? The CAB, 2019 had lapsed as it was not tabled in theRajya Sabha after being passed by Lok Sabha on January 8.

The proposed implementation of National Register ofCitizens in Bengal has turned into a latest flash pointbetween TMC and BJP in West Bengal with the Trinamool Congressgovernment vehemently opposing it.

It had created a panic claiming 11 lives in the statefollowing the omission of about 19.6 lakh names from the finalNRC list in Assam. PTI PNTKK KK