Kolkata: BJP chief Amit Shah’s message and target were clear in the rally at central Kolkata on Saturday. “We are here to uproot Mamata Banerjee,” he said, as the crowd cheered.
He said, Bangladeshi immigrants are Mamata Banerjee’s votebank while taking on the Trinamool Congress chief on her opposition to the 40 lakh people left out of the National Register of Citizens or NRC in Assam. BJP claims that Mamata Banerjee favouring illegal immigrants has much to do with her effort to nurture this vote bank to retain their support.
“All Mamata ji has done, is to object against the NRC. But NRC is the process to throw illegal immigrants out. Shouldn’t Bangladeshi immigrants be thrown out,” he asked.
“For us country first comes, before vote bank. Oppose us as much as you want but we will not stall the process of NRC,” Shah added.
Shah’s Kolkata visit is part of his effort to rapidly expand the party’s base. In 2014, it had won just two seats from Bengal and hopes to improve its tally in 2019. The BJP chief has targeted of 50% Lok Sabha seats in the state this time.
The political temperature in Bengal has been rising up over Assam’s NRC list, more so after Bengal chief minister controversially claimed that it could lead to violence and even civil war. Shah promptly hit back, insisting that his government would ensure that the court verdict on the citizens’ scheme was implemented down to the last “full stop and comma”.