West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, who met Union home minister Amit Shah on Thursday, told him a National Register of Citizens (NRC) was “not needed” in her state.
Banerjee, who has mounted a strong opposition to the NRC in Assam, said she had flagged several irregularities in that exercise in Assam to the home minister. Her discussions with Shah came just a day after he had reiterated the need for a “countrywide NRC”.
“We have given a letter to the home minister that the NRC in Assam has left 19 lakh people out. Some are Bengali speaking. Some are Hindi speaking. Some Gorkha and some local Assamese are also there. We said genuine voters must get a chance and feel that they are Indian and that’s why we had come to discuss the issue with the home minister. He didn’t say anything about an NRC in Bengal and it is not needed either,” Banerjee said in New Delhi.
The chief minister said Shah had assured her that he “would look into the problem”.
“We seldom come to Delhi. I met the Prime Minister yesterday and the home minister today. It is our constitutional obligation to work with the Prime Minister and the home minister. We have several borders in Bengal such as the Bangladesh and Nepal border. It’s a chicken’s neck. We discussed this as well,” she said.
Banerjee told the media on Thursday that the matter of changing the name from West Bengal to Bangla did not figure in her talks with Shah.
On Wednesday, the chief minister met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and urged him to look into the matter of changing the state’s name, the proposal for which has been pending with the Union home ministry. “If they (Centre) have alternate suggestions, we will welcome them. I have asked Prime Minister Modi for his suggestions as well,” she said.