CAA, NRC to be key issues in Bengal civic polls

CAA, NRC to be key issues in West Bengal civic polls

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. (Photo Credit: PTI)

The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) are all set to become the key issues in the upcoming Municipal election in West Bengal. The civic elections expected to be held in April in 102 municipalities across the state is being considered as the “semi final” to the 2021 Assembly elections.

According to sources in the Trinamool Congress (TMC) the party has decided to make the CAA and NRC its main weapons against the BJP in the civic polls. The intense campaign against CAA and NRC by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has so far cost BJP dearly as it lost all the three seats to TMC in the recent Assembly by-elections.

“ BJP’s strategy of banking on CAA will backfire. The frequent long queues before banks and government offices for correction of identity proofs and birth certificates is a clear indication of the panic among people,” a senior TMC leader said. He also said that TMC will constantly remind voters about the exclusion of about 10 lakh Hindus from the NRC list in Assam.

Even as state BJP leaders claimed that with the passage of CAA they have been able to allay the concerns of people regarding NRC controversial remarks made by them about citizenship have ended up generating more panic among people. State BJP president Dilip Ghosh’s remark that every person who has come from Bangladesh has to apply for citizenship under CAA is the latest in the long list of such comments.  

The continuing flip-flop of the state BJP over the issue of nationwide NRC has also put its credibility in question especially among Hindu refugee voters whom it seeks to lure away from TMC in the Municipal and Assembly elections. Such remarks will also help in TMC in further consolidating minority votes in its favour, TMC sources said.

“ The CAA and NRC will be our key poll issues among others,” TMC general secretary Subrata Bakshi recently said.

Moreover, BJP’s campaign in support of CAA has so far been dwarfed by the massive protest marches by the TMC supremo. As of now, the Municipal polls seems like an uphill task for BJP.