The saffron party has faced the daunting task of balancing between the sense of victimhood among the Assamese and the Bengalis even as the Trinamool Congress Party trains its guns against the BJP on the National Register of Citizens (NRC) issue.
The West Bengal government’s decision to not allow an NRC-like exercise in West Bengal has risen from the scare caused by the Assam NRC. West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee has said that the TMC government in the state will not allow the implementation of NRC in the state.
The West Bengal government’s announcement has come during a time when the Centre is planning to revive the National Population Register (NPR) programme.
During the protest meet, Bengali organisations from across North East and many from other parts of India had participated and have demanded the scrapping of the NRC and also the detention centres in Assam where people are failing to prove their citizenship are being kept.
Shantanu Mukharjee, general secretary of Sadau Asom Bangali Oikyo Mancha has said that they have been targeted only because they are Bengalis. Why else do Bengali pensioners with pension documents dated back to the early sixties have been left out of the NRC.
Leaders of the organisations present during the protest meeting at Jantar Mantar have expressed their fear that the number of Bengalis failing to make it to the citizenship list across India will grow manifold if an NRC-like exercise is carried across the nation.
The Centre’s decision to revive the NPR programme, which is not necessarily a process similar to the NRC updation in Assam, will be seen with much apprehension by many Bengalis.