Won’t pursue NRC in Bengal, says State BJP chief in a U-turn

Centre will think about it, says Dilip Ghosh

December 25, 2019 10:02 pm | Updated December 26, 2019 04:11 am IST - Kolkata

Dilip Ghosh.

Dilip Ghosh.

After repeatedly campaigning for the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in West Bengal, State BJP president Dilip Ghosh said on Wednesday the NRC is “a matter of future”, indicating that the party would not pursue it in Bengal. Exactly a year ago, Mr. Ghosh told The Hindu that the NRC is inevitable in Bengal and the party has publicly advocated for it.

Asked about its implementation, Mr. Ghosh said, “When would it take place and what would happen is a matter of future.”

“The NRC was implemented in Assam owing to a Supreme Court order. Rajiv Gandhi made the agreement saying they will do the NRC. The BJP did not make the agreement [and] it went to court. On the basis of the court order, it was implemented [in Assam], this has to be made clear,” Mr. Ghosh told journalists in Jalpaiguri. While connecting the NRC with Rajiv Gandhi, the BJP is now trying to “distance itself from it and shift the onus on the Congress,” say observers. He clarified that the Central government will take a call, if need be.

“If there is a need for countrywide NRC, the Central government will think about it,” said the BJP MP. Mr. Ghosh, a senior member of the RSS, always advocated the NRC in Bengal. Even after last November’s defeat in three Assembly bypolls, he said it is ‘premature’ to hold the NRC responsible for the defeat.

However, he changed his position within 24 hours after Home Minister Amit Shah said “there is no discussion” about a pan-India NRC. While the RSS and its affiliates consistently focused on it over the last years, there is no official statement on it as yet.

Regarding the Citizenship (Amendment) Act , 2019 (CAA), Mr. Ghosh said it will be “implemented in the country and in Bengal as it is passed in Parliament”.

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