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NRC posturings

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  12 Jan 2018 12:00 AM GMT

Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee seems to have woken up only now that the tiol Register of Citizens (NRC) is being updated in Assam. In a nearly 12-year long process monitored by the highest court of the land, she sniffs “a conspiracy to drive out lakhs of Bengalis” from the State. Having sounded an oblique warning that Bengalis should be well treated in Assam, just as “Assamese people are well treated” in Bengal, Banerjee has now called upon people of her State to shelter Bengali refugees. Not to be outdone, Assam BJP has called for an NRC exercise in Bengal too, claiming its demographic situation is no better than Assam with “many illegal Bangladeshis getting political shelter there”. Having lost the plot in Tripura, the Trimool supremo saw to her chagrin how the BJP became the main opposition party in that CPI(M) ruled State in just three years. To add insult to injury, some of her party legislators switched over to join the saffron party in Tripura. The BJP is well on course to repeat its 2014 parliamentary election and 2016 assembly election success with the Bengali electorate in Barak and Brahmaputra valleys in 2019. After all, the saffron party has made no secret of its resolve to push the Citizenship Amendment Bill through Parliament and make citizens of lakhs of Hindu Bengalis from Bangladesh taking refuge in this country. Once BJP solidifies its bases in Assam and Tripura with Hindu Bengalis, it could eye Bengal in the not-too-distant future and fancy its chances in Banerjee’s citadel. This explains the Trimool supremo’s anti-NRC stridency, even as she remains heedless to the chances of fissures developing in Assamese-Bengali amity in Assam due to such divisive politics. Meanwhile, the Congress has been placed in a piquant spot with the likes of MP and AICC Women’s wing president Sushmita Dev, MLA Kamalakshya Dev Purakayastha and former minister Siddique Ahmed all lending support to the Bengal CM, even as APCC president Ripun Bora has castigated Banerjee’s utterances as “immature, unwanted and not based on facts. Having long run with the hare and hunted with the hounds over the issues of NRC update and citizenship to Hindu Bengalis, no wonder the erstwhile ruling party is tying itself up into all sorts of knots with contradictory stands by its leaders.

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