BJP president Amit Shah on Monday said his party will scrap Article 370 of the Constitution which grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir and introduce National Register for Citizens across the country after returning to power.
Hitting out at Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Shah said: “Mamata Banerjee is under pressure after the end of second phase polls. There is politics of appeasement in Bengal.”
“I request to the people of Bengal to vote without fear. BJP workers are guarding them as protectors of democracy in the Lok Sabha polls,” he said.
“Mamata Banerjee did not allow my rallies in Bengal. Now the people here are not coming out to attend her rallies,” said Shah.
On the campaign trail in West Bengal’s Uluberia Lok Sabha seat in Howrah and Krishnanagar constituency in Nadia, Shah demanded the TMC chief to clarify whether she too favoured a separate prime minister for Jammu and Kashmir like her ally National Conference leader Omar Abdullah.
‘Apko (Mamata) Pakistan ke saath ilu ilu (I love you) karna hain toh kijiye. Lekin agar Pakistan goli marega toh hum gola marenge’ (If you are interested in showing love with Pakistan, you can do that but we would respond to their bullets with canon balls), Shah said, referring to the popular Hindi song from a film in the early 1990s.
“We will remove Article 370 from Kashmir after forming the next BJP government at the Centre. The Congress and Trinamool Congress want Article 370 to stay. We will also introduce NRC across the country,” Shah told an election rally here.
“For us, national security is supreme unlike Mamata didi for whom infiltrators are vote bank. We will identify them and throw them out,” Shah said.
Lashing out at the chief minister for allegedly running a “mafia raj” in Bengal, the BJP president also claimed that the state has topped the chart in cow smuggling and become a safe haven for infiltrators.
Urging the people to ensure that the BJP wins more than 23 out of 42 seats in the state, Shah said it would ensure that the syndicate raj ends within 90 days in Bengal.
The BJP had two seats in Bengal in 2014 against TMC 34, but after a good performance in the rural polls and some bypolls last year, the saffron party is buoyed to break the monopoly of Banerjee’s party in the eastern state.
In West Bengal, ‘syndicate’ means the business run by persons allegedly enjoying political patronage, who force promoters and contractors to buy construction materials, often of inferior quality at high prices.
“Mamata Banerjee-led TMC is running a mafia raj in the state. The state has achieved the distinction of topping the chart in cow smuggling and turning the state into a safe haven for infiltrators,” Shah claimed.
Addressing a rally in Uluberia, he accused Banerjee of making West Bengal a bankrupt state where only her relatives and TMC ministers have flourished. Under the TMC rule “all three – mother, motherland and people are suffering”, he said, referring to the ‘Ma, Maati and Manush’ slogan of West Bengal’s ruling party.
“Now the ‘Ma, Maati and Manush’ slogan has changed to Infiltration, Gundaraj and Ghuskhori (bribe),” he said. Shah alleged that Banerjee, who is vehemently opposed to the contentious NRC that is currently restricted to Assam, was misleading people. He said the BJP would introduce it in every state after winning the polls.
“It is our commitment to bring in NRC across the country to chuck away each and every infiltrator. First, we would bring Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, so that all the refugees get citizenship, and then we will bring NRC to throw out infiltrators,” he said.
Mamata has repeatedly claimed that the NRC, which seeks to weed out illegal migrants from Assam, will turn even bona fide Indian citizens into refugees.
The NRC got mired in a massive controversy after the names of around 40 lakh people, living in Assam for decades, were omitted from the complete draft that was released last year.
He also took on the West Bengal CM for “questioning the veracity” of the Indian Air Force’s strike in Pakistan’s Balakot to avenge the killing of 40 CRPF troopers in Kashmir, saying the IAF’s assault was mourned in only two places – Pakistan and Mamata Banerjee’s office.
“We came to know that Mamata Banerjee was mourning the air strikes. It is quite obvious that the air strikes will be mourned in Pakistan. But why is Mamata Banerjee mourning? Are the terrorists who died relatives of Mamata? This is a shame,” Shah said.
Earlier in the day, Shah at a press conference said the refugees who migrated from Bangladesh — be it Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains, or Christians — will get citizenship as promised in the BJP’s ‘Sankalp Patra.’
West Bengal, where 42 Lok Sabha seats are at stake, will go to polls during all seven phases of polling. The state voted for five Lok Sabha seats during first and second phases of polling on April 11 and 18.
The last phase of polling is scheduled for May 19. The counting of votes will take place on May 23.