‘Enroll your name in voters’ list to avoid detention camps under NRC’: Mamata Banerjee

Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday urged the people of the state to ensure that their names feature on the electoral roll to avoid getting sent to detention camps under the garb of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) implementation. She was addressing a programme organised by the state government to distribute land ‘pattas’ (deed) to marginalised families from all districts. “There is an exercise underway to upgrade voter list. Ensure your name is there on the voters’ list. If there is a mistake, your name might get omitted from the list and you could be sent to detention camps in the name of NRC implementation. “Such instances have been noted in Assam. NRC is shame, shame and shame. There is a conspiracy being hatched. Do not waste time and enroll get your name on the voters’ list,” Banerjee said.

The CM, taking a dig at the BJP-led Centre, also wondered why people who had been exercising their franchise to elect the country’s prime minister “need to give proof of citizenship”.

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Referring to incidents of “forcible takeover of land by railway and airport authorities” in the past, Banerjee said, “No eviction will be allowed in Bengal without proper compensation and rehabilitation.” She asked people to stage protests if their lands are forcibly taken and assured them that the state government will be there to lend support to the cause.

“Poor people cannot be forcibly evicted from a place. I have heard that people were being evicted from some areas for flyover and highway construction work. We will never allow such use of bulldozers. Do not give up so easily, lodge protests against these drives,” Banerjee underlined.

“We have identified 300 refugee colonies in the state, and its residents will be given land pattas in due course of time,? she stated. The CM also said that beneficiaries need not furnish Aadhaar card to avail financial aid under her government’s ‘Lakshmir Bhandar’ scheme.

Without taking any name, she claimed that letters were being sent to the Centre alleging that funds are being misuses in West Bengal. “I feel ashamed to take names of those who are writing to the Centre asking it to create an economic blockade in West Bengal. They have alleged that central funds were being misused.?

Lashing out at the Narendra Modi-led dispensation, she said the central government “runs on the instructions of the party (BJP)”. “The (central) government takes instructions from the party. If the party says that it’s night, they (Centre) too nod in agreement,” she added.