West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday alleged that the Central government was “using” nationalised banks and post offices in the state were collecting data in a bid to “manipulate” the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), National Population Register (NPR) and National Register of Citizens (NRC), The Indian Express reported.
At an administrative review meeting at Bankura she directed the district officials to not share any information with banks and post offices and said that the “surveys” that the government was conducting, must “stop immediately”. She did not share details of where and when such a survey happened.
Speaking to the top state officials she said, “The banks and post offices are doing these surveys without taking the name of BJP… They are visiting houses to collect the data. They cannot do this without the state government’s permission… Do not share any information with anyone. We will not allow this. We have to strongly handle this.”
At the meeting she also said, “The BJP is bringing in people from outside the state in the name of NGOs. Some people are coming from Mumbai and Assam. They are being paid to visit. They are all extremists and are visiting your homes and offering help. They are asking questions like what you have in your house, who all are staying, where do they work, where are they from, where do your daughters study, what do your sons do, what is your name, what is your address? Don’t you dare trust them.”
She has warned everyone not to disclose any details to anyone – be it from the Centre, NGOs or even the West Bengal government. It must be noted that the West Bengal government has put all data collection on hold for the moment with tension emerging after mob attacks on government employees and NGO workers collecting data for a non CAA-NRC related initiative.
The West Bengal Assembly has also passed a resolution against the CAA, making it the fourth state to do so after Kerala, Punjab and Rajasthan.
Citing the reported incident of a group of alleged BJP workers visiting a jewellery shop at Habra in North 24 Parganas supposedly asking for documents related to the CAA and NRC she said, “Today, I saw the news that a group of around 15 BJP people went to a jewellery shop in Habra (North 24 Parganas district) and demanded that they show papers required for CAA and NRC. Who has given them the authority to do this? Just drive away such people… don’t believe them if they tell you they are from the government.” An FIR has been filed in the incident too.
With regards to this, the BJP has hit back at the West Bengal CM accusing her of ‘fear mongering’ saying that she has no evidence to support her claim in the matter.