West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee warned of serious consequences if the central government goes ahead with the plan to drive out Bengalis from Assam.
Addressing a public rally at Amodpur in Birbhum district of West Bengal on Wednesday, the Trinamool Congress leader warned that ethnic problems in Assam would invariably have effects in West Bengal.
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Comparing the process of making National Citizen's Register (NCR) in Assam as "Bangalee Hatao" movement, the one that took place in the 1960s, the eminent politician warned the central government saying: “Don’t play with fire.”
"Don't divide and rule. If there is trouble in Assam, there will be trouble in Bengal. We are neighbouring states," she added.
“People from Assam and Kerala are also staying in Bengal. So the Bengalis staying in Assam should also be taken care of. This is a free country. But in the name of citizenship register, the BJP is trying to victimise people," Mamata said further.
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The first draft of the NRC has listed 19 million people out of the 32.9 million applicants as legal Indian citizens, in a massive exercise aimed at identifying illegal immigrants in the state that borders Bangladesh.
Anyone living in Assam has been asked to prove that their forebears appeared either in the state's only previous register of citizens, compiled in 1951, or on any electoral roll published before March 1971 to be eligible for citizenship.