West Bengal (WB) Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee commenced her protest rally against the National Register of Citizens (NRC) on Thursday. Starting from Sinthi More, Banerjee, along with all elected representatives and functionaries of her party Trinamool Congress will march till Shyambazar in north Kolkata. After the final NRC list was published on August 31, she had expressed her displeasure on Twitter. Describing NRC as a ‘fiasco’, she claimed that the entire process was carried out with an ulterior motive. She also empathized with the Bengali speaking people, who allegedly suffered the brunt of the NRC.
The NRC fiasco has exposed all those who tried to take political mileage out of it. They have a lot to answer to the nation.— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) August 31, 2019
This is what happens when an act is guided by an ulterior motive rather than the good of the society and the larger interest of the nation.(1/2)
My heart goes out to all those, especially the large number of Bengali speaking brothers and sisters, who are made to suffer because of this botched-up process.(2/2)— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) August 31, 2019
Last week, the WB Assembly had passed a resolution against the implementation of NRC in the state, which was backed by the opposition parties like Congress and the Left. Sources have told Republic TV that she is keen on opposing a bill which the Centre allegedly wants to introduce, seeking NRC in every state of India. However, Banerjee's stance on the NRC was radically different in 2005. At that time, she accused the then Left regime in WB of allowing illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and asked for their expulsion in the Lok Sabha. But, as the Deputy Speaker had disallowed her notice to raise the matter, she stormed out of the House.
This comes hours after the Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind General Secretary Mahmood Madani backed the implementation of the NRC. He maintained that he had no problem if the NRC process was carried out in the entire country. This, he observed, would help identify the 'intruders' in India. He was responding to a specific query regarding his organization's position on the NRC in Assam.
Initially published in 1951, the NRC was specifically demanded in Assam by the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) due to the centuries-old illegal migration of people. The ill-treatment of people in East Pakistan and the subsequent war in 1971 exacerbated the situation as thousands of persons from that region entered Assam. The Assam Accord signed by Rajiv Gandhi in 1985 principally agreed to the AASU’s demand. However, it took decades before the process commenced, after the direction of the Supreme Court. Assam’s final list of the NRC left out 19,06,657 number of persons. Overall, 3,11,21,004 people were found eligible for inclusion in the list.