West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh on Thursday challenged Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to stop the Centre from implementing the Citizenship Amendment Act in the state and said that NRC is required as infiltrators have become the vote banks of the ruling TMC.
He criticised West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's opposition to National Population Register (NPR) and said that it has become her habit to resist whatever is good for the country.
Ghosh told newsmen here, "The CAA is a central act which will be implemented across the country. Let Mamata Banerjee stop it from being implemented in West Bengal if she can".
He said, "The National Register of Citizens(NRC) should be implemented in West Bengal. Mamata Banerjee needs the help of the infiltrators who have become its votebank to win elections".
"Let the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) be implemented here first then we will see what to do with NRC. We are not saying we will implement it but we feel it should be to weed out infiltrators," he said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during a rally in Delhi on Sunday had said his government never discussed a nationwide National Register of Citizens (NRC) since coming to power for the first time in 2014.
"The cat is out of the bag", TMC secretary general Partha Chatterjee said reacting to Ghosh's claim.
"As they (BJP) are on the backfoot over the nationwide protests against CAA, they had said they will not implement NRC. But the fact is they have plans to implement it across the country once these protests die down," he said.
The newly passed Citizenship Amendment Act has been a latest political flash point in West Bengal, with Banerjee, who is among the most vocal critics of the saffron party, opposing it and the BJP keen on implementing it in the state. Regarding updation of the NRC in Assam, Ghosh said BJP has no link with it as it was done under the directions of the Supreme Court. "But there had been some lapses which are being sorted out presently," he said. About NPR, he said it was started by the Congress in 2010. "Subsequently we (BJP) came to power. It is the duty of the government to continue with the process."
On Banerjee's stiff resistance to NPR, preparation for which has been stayed by the West Bengal government, he said it was "her habit to resist whatever is good for the country".
The Trinamool Congress said that BJP is trying to "fool and cheat" the people of the country as the population register is the "first step towards NRC".