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Mamata Banerjee meets Amit Shah, raises Assam NRC issue

Mamata Banerjee meets Amit Shah, raises Assam NRC issue


New Delhi: West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Mamata Banerjee met Union Home Minister Amit Shah in New Delhi at North Block for meeting on Thursday.

The TMC chief, who is on a three-day visit to the national capital, met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday. She described it as a “government-to-government” meeting and said the discussion was based mostly on development issues related to the State.

This is the first time Mamata Banerjee is meeting Amit Shah after the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and he took over as the Home Minister in the second term of the Modi government.

Coming out of the meeting, Mamata Banerjee told reporters, “I raised the issue of Assam NRC with the Home Minister as this is the first time I am meeting him since he became the minister. I spoke to him about the exclusion of 19 lakh people out of the Assam NRC.”

Asked about the talks of bringing NRC to West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee ruled out the speculation and said that this was not discussed in the brief meeting with Amit Shah.

“He didn’t speak about NRC in West Bengal. There is no need for NRC there,” said Mamata Banerjee.

On Thursday, she met PM Modi and discussed a host of issues, including the proposal to change West Bengal’s name to Bangla.

Ahead of Thursday’s meeting, Amit Shah proposed on Wednesday that there is need for a nationwide NRC like that in Assam to throw all illegal immigrants out of the country.

Mamata Banerjee, on the other hand, has issued repeated warnings to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Modi government over any such actions on West Bengal.

Bengal BJP has termed her Delhi visit and meetings with PM Modi and Amit Shah as her last ditch attempt to “save herself”.

Several Trinamool Congress leaders and former Kolkata police chief Rajeev Kumar have come under the CBI scanner in connection with a ponzi scam related to the Saradha group. The Saradha group of companies allegedly duped lakhs of people of Rs 2,500 crore, promising higher rates of return on their investments.

Banerjee had famously sat on a dharna in protest against CBI coming for Kumar in February. Ever since she announced her decision to visit Delhi, the opposition parties in the state have been alleging that Banerjee’s meeting with Modi is political and not administrative as the Chief Minister has been claiming.

Asked if her meeting with Amit Shah had anything to do with Rajeev Kumar, Mamata Banerjee shot back and said it “is political vendetta”.

Assembly polls in Bengal are due in April-May 2021.


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