December 5, 2019
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West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee hit out at the Bharatiya Janata Party on Friday criticising it for taking the credit of Chandrayaan-2 moon mission and indulging in political vendetta by implementing the National Register of Citizens in Assam.

The Trinamool Congress supremo, who is a virulent critic of the BJP, chose to attack the saffron party during a discussion in the assembly on a motion on the contentious NRC.

Hitting out at BJP for taking the credit on the Moon mission hours before its soft landing on the lunar south pole, Banerjee said, “Sometimes they (BJP) are pointing to the Chandrayaan-2 mission as if they are the first to have done so. This (research work) is going on for the last 60-70 years.”


Continuing her tirade, Banerjee said, “Suddenly, today he (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) has gone there (at the Indian Space Research Organisation headquarters in Bengaluru) … Now for the next four days the issue of Chandrayaan will continue to dominate. As if they (the BJP) have done everything in the country. (As if) they have invented science ….”

The PM is at the ISRO headquarters to witness the final descent of Chandrayaan-2 on the lunar South Pole in the early hours of Septemeber 7.

On the National Register of Citizens, which is a validation of Indian citizenship in Assam, she said the TMC government in West Bengal will not allow its implementation in the state as it is nothing but political vendetta of the BJP-led government at the Centre.

“We (TMC) will never let BJP implement the National Register of Citizens in West Bengal. The Assam Accord was signed during Rajiv Gandhi‘s regime so that peace and
tranquility returns to Assam. This was not acceptable to any other states,” she said during the discussion on the motion under Rule 185.

She went on to add, “I welcome Nitish Kumar‘s statement that they (his party the Janata Dal-United) will also not implement NRC in Bihar.”

The NRC updation under the supervision of the Supreme Court has taken place only in Assam. The cut off date was March 24 1971 and the final NRC list was published on August 31 this year.

BJP has often said that it will implement NRC in Bengal and has accused Banerjee of opposing it for the sake of minority vote bank.

Banerjee said that in the final list names of genuine Indians, many of whom had fought for the country‘s independence, had been struck off.

The TMC supremo expressed her support for former prime minister Manmohan Singh‘s opinion that the Narendra Modi government should concentrate on the economic slowdown.

“I echo the words of Dr Manmohan Singh … They (BJP) must concentrate more on the economy than on political vendetta. They are selling off Air India, banks and disinvesting in railways.”

Referring to Modi‘s recent meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin in which Russia backed India on Kashmir, she said the BJP government at the Centre cannot do anything to end the economic crisis in the country but was only trying to divert the people‘s attention.

“I thank all the parties other than one party (the BJP), which is flickering here in West Bengal, for supporting our motion. I am hopeful that one day they (the BJP) will
understand who have destroyed the institutions of the country,” she said.

The TMC supremo said there is none in the country to speak against the BJP. “Even during the Emergency imposed by Indira Gandhi many people had spoken against it”.

Referring to the revoking of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, Banerjee said she has reservations against the way in which it was done.

“I would have let you (BJP) know whether I supported the move or not if you had called for a meeting. But that did not happen. If there is peace, then why the gun ? Why are people being kept in prisons?” she said.

Urging the opposition parties to unite for a movement against the BJP-led government, Banerjee said that she was saddened that nobody from the opposition parties were protesting against it.

“I feel sad that the opposition parties cannot formulate any movement … I do not care what people tell me. You can utter abuses against me but still I will stand for the greater interest (of the people),” she said.

The resolution in the House against the NRC was brought jointly by ruling TMC and opposition Congress and Left Front. It was boycotted by the BJP.

Conrad Contributor