Mamata Banerjee Takes Delhi By Storm Over Assam NRC And 2019 Elections: Here's Every Meeting She Held And What She Said

Written By Ankit Prasad | Mumbai | Published:


  • West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee has been in New Delhi for the last two days
  • She has held a number of meetings over the Assam NRC issue including with the Congress and BJP
  • She's stepped up her attack on the Central and Assam governments over the NRC issue and will also be meeting Sonia Gandhi later on Wednesday

Update at 5:51 pm: 

"I am not BJP's servant to reply to any of their statements. I didn't say this (civil war remark), my concern is regarding the 40 lakh people whose names are not in the list (NRC). BJP is politically tensed because they know they won't come to power in 2019", said Mamata Banerjee after meeting Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi

"We discussed current politics and the possibility of all of us contesting elections together in future. We also discussed the #NRCAssam issue", she added, confirming progress in the endeavour to stitch together an anti-BJP alliance ahead of the 2019 elections

Update at 4:12 pm: The Trinamool Congress and Kolkata Police have denied that permission has been denied to the BJP and Amit Shah for holding a public meeting:

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was the biggest talking point in New Delhi on Wednesday as on the second day of her visit to the national capital, the TMC chief intensified her battle with the Centre over the Assam NRC issue and also sought to make inroads over the issue of the upcoming 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

Here's an account of the various meetings Mamata Banerjee has held and what she's said in New Delhi:

On Tuesday: 

The West Bengal Chief Minister caused a massive controversy by suggesting that the exclusion of up to 40.07 lakh people in the National Register of Citizens (NRC) of Assam, as published in the final draft, could lead to a 'blood bath' and a 'civil war' and accused the central government and BJP, once again, of conducting the exercise with a political motive.

She then met with rebel BJP leaders Yashwant Sinha, Shatrughan Sinha and Ram Jethmalani at the latter's residence. She said that she had appealed to both Yashwant Sinha and Shatrughan Sinha to send a team to Assam and check the reality of the NRC.

On Wednesday:

It was on Wednesday that Banerjee really sought to tighten the screw. Arriving in Parliament shortly after noon, the Trinamool Congress chief went about meeting with a number of leaders from various parties.

Congress: Even as the Rahul Gandhi-led party continued to play a balancing act over the fact that it was under Prime Ministers Rajiv Gandhi and Manmohan Singh that a number of the key steps towards the NRC updation had been taken and the party's stance against the implemention and alleged motive of the BJP-led central and Assam government, Mamata Banerjee met with key leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, who, over the last few months, has playyed a critical role in reaching out to leaders of other parties.

However, even as Banerjee met with Azad, and also planned to meet UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi later in the day, the Congress sought to criticise her earlier remarks. Congress Assam chief Ripun Bora said, "Mamata Banerjee, being a Chief Minister, shouldn't provoke for a civil war. We condemn this statement. It will have no impact on Assam as it is absolutely peaceful there."

BJP: Even as the Parliament witnessed an uproar for a second day running over Amit Shah's speech in the Rajya Sabha where he invoked Rajiv Gandhi's role in the Assam Accord and slammed the Congress over votebank politics, Mamata Banerjee's government refused to grant the BJP party president permission to travel to West Bengal and take the NRC Assam battle to the TMC's home turf. Shah has since said that he will go to Bengal irrespective of whether or not he has permission.

Meanwhile, Mamata Banerjee met with BJP senior leader LK Advani.

The BJP took her on, with Roopa Ganguly saying:

Is she aware that there are a lot of illegal immigrants in West Bengal? As it is what is happening in West Bengal today, is it any less than bloodbath or civil war? Doesn't she know that every other day BJP karyakartas are being killed?

Meanwhile, Union MoS Home Kiren Rijiju said that it was unfortunate that Mamata Banerjee was talking about a civil war, at which point, elsewhere, Banerjee accused the BJP of 'removing people in the name of Bangladeshis.'

Other parties:

She met with Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M Thambi Durai of the AIADMK, and YS Chowdary of the TDP. She also reached out to the Samajwadi Party by meeting Ramgopal Yadav and Jaya Bachchan. 

Following her 5 pm meeting with Sonia Gandhi, Mamata Banerjee will also meet Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

What she's said: In her most substantive statement on Wednesday, Mamata Banerjee said -

"Those who are citizens... Those who live in the country for many years in Assam, Bengal, Maharashtra... they live in many places for work. 
There are Bihari people living in Bengal. There are many Rajasthanis living in Bengal. Where will their kids go? How will they educate their kids? Those who work will be kicked out?" 

"These people, the BJP is excluding for vote reasons. It's not right to call Hindustanis infiltrators. We live in Bengal but we consider Assamese our brothers and sisters."

"I like Maharashtrians, Biharis, UP. They are all our countrymen." (She said this while quoting the National Anthem) 

"If they're (government is) saying they're infiltrators, why didn't they see the border?" (she makes a reference to the various security agencies that fall under the Central government)

"Infiltrators can be 0.1, 0.2%... but 40 lakh?"

(On being asked about her blood-bath and civil war remarks and the ensuing controversy:) "Am I not a human? I don't want there to be a bloodbath. The effect will fall on us, not on Delhi. The effect is on our neighbours. Will we not speak for them? We will speak for the country."

Watch what Mamata Banerjee had to say in the video above.




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