Coochbehar(WB): West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Monday hit out at the BJP-ruled government at the Centre for trying to introduce the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) in the ongoing winter session of Parliament calling it a "trap to exclude Bengalis and Hindus" and expressed her stiff opposition to it.
Banerjee, who has been one of the most vociferous critics of the National Register of Citizens, iterated her stand of not allowing implementation of NRC in Bengal, as had been said by top BJP leaders.
The winter session of Parliament began on Monday and the CAB, which seeks to provide Indian citizenship to Hindus, Jains, Christians, Sikhs, Parsis and Buddhists from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan after seven years of residence in India even if they do not possess any document, is likely to be introduced during it.
Continuing her attack against arch-rival BJP, Banerjee mocked it as the "biggest sin" which won 18 seats by "using central forces and buying votes" and "daydreaming of conquering Bengal" in the 2021 assembly polls.
She sent out a stern message against infighting in the ruling TMC and said those who are in touch with BJP are free to leave the party as it would help her "cleanse it of traitors".
Banerjee, who was addressing TMC workers meet at Coochbehar district on the Indo-Bangla border, exuded confidence of returning to power for the third consecutive term in 2021.
"I will not tolerate infighting in my party. Those who are indulging in infighting are weakening it. Those who are covertly in touch with BJP are free to leave the party, it will help us get rid of traitors. Everybody should remember that TMC is a single party, there can't be any parallel organisation in the same name," Banerjee, who is also the TMC chief, said at the meeting.
"There will not be any groupism in TMC. You (party workers) have to reach out to the people and stand by them in their times of need. I will never allow you to fight among yourselves and make the party to suffer for it," she said.
TMC had lost Coochbehar Lok Sabha seat to BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
Keeping up her vitriolic attack against the saffron party and its slogan for defeating TMC in 2021 state assembly election, Banerjee said "some fools" are dreaming of defeating her just by winning 18 Lok Sabha seats.
"There are some fools who just by getting 18 (Lok Sabha) seats are daydreaming of deseating us in 2021. The common people can't imagine how they won the Lok Sabha seats by using central forces and using money power.
"BJP is the biggest sin of Bengal. They will get a befitting reply in the assembly polls. We (TMC) will definitely come back to power in the next Assembly elections," she said.
Several BJP leaders have been asserting that the saffron party would end TMC's rule in the next Assembly election after it had won 18 of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal in the last Lok Sabha polls.
Referring to the omission of about 19.6 lakh names from the final NRC list in Assam, she hit out at the BJP saying "Those who can't take care of legal citizens and Bengalis in Assam are daydreaming of capturing power in Bengal. The BJP has to answer for excluding lakhs of Bengalis from the final list of NRC and sending them to the detention centres".
Banerjee said, "We will never allow NRC in Bengal. No one (in Bengal) will lose their citizenship or will be sent to detention centers as long as we (TMC) are in power in Bengal. The central government is now planning to pass CAB.
This is another trap like the NRC to exclude Bengalis and Hindus as legal citizens of the country and make them refugees in their own country. We are completely against it," she said.
Elaborating on her stand for opposing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, Banerjee said, "If it (CAB) is passed, then they will treat you as a foreigner for six years. What will you do with such people for six years? And then, what will happen? Does anyone know?
The CAB, 2019 had lapsed as it was not tabled in the Rajya Sabha after being passed by Lok Sabha on January 8.
The proposed implementation of National Register of Citizens in Bengal has turned into a latest flash point between TMC and BJP in West Bengal with the Trinamool Congress government vehemently opposing it.
It had created a panic claiming 11 lives in the state following the omission of about 19.6 lakh names from the final NRC list in Assam.