BJP president Amit Shah addresses the rally in Kolkata on Saturday. (Express photo/Partha Paul)
In his first visit to West Bengal since the release of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) draft on July 30, BJP president Amit Shah on Saturday targeted Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for “keeping the Bangladeshi infiltrators” and urged the people of the state to uproot the incumbent Trinamool Congress government.
“We want to ask Mamata Banerjee why is she protecting the Bangladeshi infiltrators. All that she has done is protest against the NRC. But NRC is the process to throw illegal migrants out. Shouldn’t Bangladeshi migrants be thrown out?” Shah questioned while addressing a public rally in central Kolkata.
He alleged that the Bangladeshi infiltrators were a vote bank of the previous Communist government and now, they had become a vote bank of the TMC.
BJP supporters with cutouts of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah at the rally in Kolkata. (Express photo/Partha Paul)
Accusing the CM and Congress chief Rahul Gandhi of indulging in “vote-bank politics”, Shah said, “Rahul Gandhi and Mamata di should clarify whether national security is important for them or vote bank. For the BJP, the country comes first.”
He added: “You can oppose us as much as you want but we will not stall the process of NRC. Neither Mamata nor Rahul Gandhi can stop the BJP from doing it.”
Over 40 lakh people in Assam are staring at uncertainty after they found their names excluded from the “complete draft” of the NRC released on July 30 in Guwahati. Of the 3.29 crore people who had filled in applications for the NRC in 2015, 2.89 crore people found their names in the draft list.
The BJP leader alleged that the Bangladeshi infiltrators were earlier a vote bank of the Communist government and now, a vote bank of the TMC.
The crowd at the BJP rally in Kolkata. (Express photo/Partha Paul)
Urging the people to uproot the TMC government, Shah said, “Earlier we used to hear the sound of Rabindra sangeet but now, we only hear the sound of explosions.” The BJP chief was referring to the violence and crude bomb blasts that marred the panchayat elections this year.
Shah also accused the CM of making sure the BJP’s rally is not aired by local channels. “The signals of all Bengali channels have been lowered so that the people will not be able to watch us. But even if you try to suppress our voices, we will visit every district in the state and ensure the TMC is thrown out,” he said.
“Shouldn’t Bangladeshi migrants be thrown out?” Shah questioned. (Express photo/Partha Paul)
Earlier in the day, the BJP chief was shown black flags by youth Congress workers upon his arrival at the city’s Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport. The Congress workers raised anti-Modi and anti-Shah slogans and also tried to block his convoy by lining up motorcycles on the street.
with the Express Morning Briefing