Kolkata: Equating the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB) with the National Register of Citizens (NRC) West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee described them "two sides of the same coin" on a day union home minister Amit Shah pitched for the CAB after introducing it in the parliament.
The Trinamul Congress (TMC) supremo also suggested the Centre offer "deemed citizenship" by issuing "Green Card" to the immigrants in an oblique reference to the US model while reiterating the fierce opposition by her party and government against the CAB and NRC in the state.
Exuding confidence she affirmed that no would be able to enforce the CAB and NRC on the people in the state while her party in power.
Banerjee was addressing her 'Thanksgiving' rally which she kickstarted from Khargapur in West Midnapore on Monday as the Trinamul has snatched the assembly constituency from the BJP in the recent by-elections.
"All of us are equal. Come, let us stay united. Not a single person would be allowed to be thrown out. No NRC, No CAB, No division. No divide and rule. Nothing can be greater than the country irrespective of political slogans of any party. Be it the CAB or the NRC, they are the two sides of the same coin," she said.
Sending a stern message to the Centre, Banerjee elaborated, "All of us are citizens because we cast our votes. Everyone has ration cards or school certificates or something else. So where does the question of the citizenship issue arise from again then?"
She noted, "If the question of citizenship is a continuous process, the district magistrate earlier used to be given the task. If someone new has come whom you have to give citizenship, deemed citizenship can be given. You can give them Green Card or deemed citizenship, which exists abroad for those who stay somewhere for five years."
Lashing out at the BJP the TMC continued, "But we have been living here over the past 70 years since Independence. So who are you to decide who will get what or not and who will stay here or not? Do not be afraid of the CAB and the NRC. We are with you. As long as we are here, no one has the power to enforce anything on you."