While West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is now stubbornly against the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) and the National Registry of Citizens (NRC), her stance during her stint in the Lok Sabha in 2005 shows something entirely different. A video from the session shows the then-Kolkata Dakshin MP Banerjee questioning the then-Deputy Speaker and Shiromani Akali Dal leader Charanjit Singh Atwal as to why the UPA parliament was ignoring the issue of Bangladeshi infiltration. She accused the parliament of ignoring the issue, being biased against West Bengal.
"Sir, I want to know from you sir, the infiltration in Bengal, it has become a disaster now. Illegal migrants from Bangladesh are also part of the voters’ list in West Bengal. Both lists of Bangladeshi voters and Indian voters are with me. I would like to request to you that it is a very serious matter asking, when will this matter be discussed?" she had said.
On being said that the matter had been disallowed by the Speaker, she had retaliated angrily, "Why has it been disallowed? Tell me the cause, why has it been disallowed? It is in Bengal- that is why? No, this is not fair."
Reports state that after her outburst in the parliament, she had thrown a sheaf of papers at the Deputy Speaker, announcing her resignation from the House. The then-Speaker and CPI(M) leader Somnath Chatterjee had reportedly disallowed her notice to raise the subject of illegal Bangladeshi migration on grounds that it was not in a proper format. Later, Banerjee sent her resignation through an officer of the House to Chaterjee- who was also her rival in West Bengal state politics - but was turned down by the Speaker, as per reports.
Down the years, Mamata Banerjee, who then eventually defeated CPI(M) to be sworn-in as the West Bengal Chief Minister in 2011, has since then changed her stance on infiltration. Since the start of the NRC exercise in Assam, she has vocally been against it. She has often questioned why 14 lakhs Hindus and Bengalis were omitted from the final NRC list in Assam - which was implemented to weed out illegal migrants from citizens.
She has further declared repeatedly that "We will never allow NRC exercise and Citizenship Act in Bengal. We will not implement the amended Act, even though it has been passed in Parliament. The BJP can't just bulldoze the states to implement it."