At meeting with Shah, Mamata raises Assam NRC issue

New Delhi: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday told Union Home Minister Amit Shah that genuine Indians belonging to Bengali, Bihari, Gorkha and Assamese communities were excluded from the NRC in Assam and sought his intervention to ameliorate their miseries.

This was conveyed by Banerjee to Shah in her first meeting with the home minister, who assumed the office about three months ago.

“I have come to meet the home minister to discuss about the NRC in Assam and told him that many genuine Indians were excluded from the list. I have requested him to do the needful so that they can be included in the NRC as they are in distress,” she told reporters after the meeting with Shah.

The chief minister said among those who were excluded from the National Register of Citizens (NRC) include many Bengali, Bihari, Gorkhas and even Assamese.

“I have requested him to examine their cases and resolve the issues,” she said.

The final NRC, a list of Assam’s residents and published on August 31, excluded the names of 19 lakh people.

“The home minister has assured that he would look into it,” she said.

Asked whether there was any discussion on the implementation of the NRC in West Bengal, Banerjee said no such discussion has taken place but it was her stated position that such an initiative was not required in her state.

“Even Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said that the NRC was not required in his state,” she said.

The chief minister said she has come to New Delhi after a long time and after she was given an appointment by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a meeting.

“Meeting the Prime Minister and the home minister is a constitutional obligation. Besides we have international border issues with Bangladesh and Bhutan and state borders with Bihar and Jharkhand. We also have the sensitive ‘chicken’s neck’ (corridor connecting northeastern states with the rest of the country). So meeting with the home minister is in that context necessary,” she said.

The chief minister said she has met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday and raised the issue of renaming the state.

Banerjee also invited the prime minister to inaugurate a coal block in the state.

The coal block is the second largest in the world, she said.

When the chief minister was asked about the CBI’s hunt for former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar, she shouted back as saying “see this is their political vendetta”.

However, it was immediately not known whom the chief minister was referring to.

Later, the Trinamool Congress tweeted saying Banerjee was referring to the questioner and the organisation the reporter belongs to.

“After meeting the Home Minister when @MamataOfficial addressed the press, a reporter (at the rear, from the opposite side) screamed out a question, in the context of a particular issue. A fellow journalist in the front screamed “Why are you disturbing,” the Trinamool Congress tweeted.

“At this point the CM said, “See this is their (the channel’s) political vendetta”. It is in this context that she used the phrase and no other reason. Request a section of the media not to distort what she said. She never said anything against any individual or any institution,” the party said.