Mamata accuses BJP of being anti-Bengali, asks if hilsa, sandesh will be ‘branded ‘infiltrators’

Kolkata, Aug 13 (PTI) Attacking the BJP-led central government over exclusion of 40 lakh people in the final draft of Assam-NRC,

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today accused the saffron party of being “anti-Bengalis”.

Taking a swipe at the BJP, the Trinamool Congress chief asked if hilsa fish, Jamdani saree, sandesh and mishti doi, which are originally from Bangladesh, would also be branded as “infiltrators or refugees”.

Asserting that these 40 lakh people are “very much Indians”, she questioned the criteria on which they have been excluded.

Banerjee said that even she would not be able to produce the birth certificate of her parents if the government asks for it.

“Do not know my parents’ birth dates. I only know the dates of their death. I would not be able to provide any documents for their date of birth but there should be a clear system about such cases…you cannot blame the layman,” she told reporters at her chamber in the state assembly.

Banerjee has been attacking the BJP government at the Centre over National Register for Citizens (NRC) which has excluded names of over 40 lakh citizens in the final draft for want of necessary documents in Assam.

“What is going on in the country is injustice. The BJP with their extremist ideology is trying to create division among the people. I think they are playing the politics of revenge among the countrymen. We are not for this kind of politics,” she said.

She accused the BJP of being “anti-Bengalis” and “anti-West Bengal”.

“They (the BJP) must not forget that speaking Bengali is not a crime. It is the fifth most spoken language in the world. What is BJP’s problem with (West) Bengal. Are they scared of the intellect of the Bengalis, their culture. They must not forget that (West) Bengal is the cultural mecca of the country,” she said.

The TMC chief said “the culture practised by them does not have any respect for people speaking Hindi, Bengali, Maratha and the South Indian (languages)”.

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