Mamata Banerjee counters BJP’s NRC promise, says Modi nobody to decide who leaves India


A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi trained guns at the Trinamool Congress and Mamata Banerjee at a mega rally in Kolkatas Brigade Ground on Wednesday, the West Bengal Chief Minister shot back at the PM and said that a chaiwaala (tea-seller) had turned a chowkidar (watchman) only to fool the masses. Launching an offensive against PM Narendra Modi at a rally in Cooch Behar, Mamata Banerjee said that she will never allow the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in the state and that Narendra Modi is no one to make a decision on who will remain and who will leave. The BJP has been campaigning in the state with a promise to implement an Assam-like NRC in Bengal to weed out immigrants from Bangladesh. The state of West Bengal is seeing a bitter turf war between the ruling TMC and the BJP which is trying to increase its presence in the state, formerly considered a Left bastion. With the NRC being a key poll issue in campaigns of Amit Shah-led BJP, the matter of illegal migrants has heated up seeing the nine seats that dot the Indo-Bangladesh border. Modi, just a day earlier, had insisted that NRC would not hurt the Gorkha community which resides in north Bengal. He said, I want to assure all Gorkha brothers and sisters that none of you will be inconvenienced because of the NRC. She had also hit back at the prime minister, calling him expiry babu, saying, I will not name him Responding to the BJP which says that it would conduct an NRC in West Bengal if it is voted to power, the Bengal CM in Dinhata on Wednesday that the BJP should at least focus on winning a seat in Bengal. Slamming the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre, the TMC chief said, Chaiwallah, who has failed to fulfil his promises, has now turned into a chowkidar to fool the masses. READ ALSO | Banerjee remarked, Why will people watch your film? If people want to watch films, they will watch films on Gandhi Ji, Ambedkar Ji, why Modi? What contribution he has made to India? Five years ago, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee-led TMC bagged 34 out of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in the general elections. The Congress party won four Lok sabha seats, while the BJP showed its best-ever performance by winning 2 seats. It must be noted that in 2009, the BJP had won only one seat. BJP ministers – singer Babul Supriyo and SS Ahluwalia had emerged victorious from the Asansol and Darjeeling Lok Sabha constituencies in 2014. This year too, Mamata has fielded many stars from the showbiz, banking on their star power. The 2019 general elections in West Bengal will be conducted in seven phases – April 11, 18, 23, 29, May 6, May 12 and May 19. The results will depend on the counting of votes for all phases on May 23.

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