In rare meeting with Amit Shah, Mamata Banerjee discusses NRC
A day after she met Prime Minister Narendra Modi, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had a word with the former's right hand in government- Union Home Minister Amit Shah at his North Block office in New Delhi. The Trinamool Chief discussed Assam's National Register of Citizens (NRC) with Shah and told him many genuine voters have been left out. Here's what went down.
About the brief meeting, Banerjee told reporters, "I raised the issue of Assam NRC with the Home Minister and handed him a letter. I spoke to him about the exclusion of 19 lakh people out of the Assam NRC, some of who are Hindi, Bengali and Gorkha-speaking people and genuine Indian voters." She added Bengal NRC wasn't discussed and claimed "it wasn't needed" either.
This was the first meeting between Shah and Banerjee after Lok Sabha polls. It should be recalled that during electioneering the leaders indulged in mud-slinging, with charges being leveled at one another on a daily basis. On Wednesday, she was also all smiles when she met PM Modi. The duo discussed changing West Bengal's name to "Bangla" and other issues related to development.
Before Thursday's meet, Shah had expressed the government's desire to implement NRC throughout the country. "Can an Indian go and live illegally in the US, UK, Russia? No, then how can other nationals reside in India without legal documentation? That's why I believe National Register of Citizens (NRC) should be implemented all over the country," Shah said at an event on Wednesday.
For those unaware, the updated list of Assam NRC was released on August 31, for the first time in decades. Immigration is a sensitive topic in Assam, and the idea behind this exercise was to identify illegal Bangladeshi immigrants. Of the 3.3 crore applicants which authorities received, 19 lakh people were excluded. The government assured no action will be taken till all legal options are exhausted.