NRC 2018: As Mamata Banerjee guns for BJP head, West Bengal ‘biggest defaulter in National Register of Citizens’

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West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee created a furore when she accused BJPs divisive ploy behind the elimination of over 40 lakh people from the final draft of NRC in Assam. Ironically though, the state has emerged as the biggest defaulter in the NRC verification process. According to a PTI report, Registrar General and Census (RGI) Commissioner of India Sailesh, who oversaw the entire exercise of the National Register of Citizens (NRC), has said that despite him deputing his own staff to help the West Bengal government in collecting documents sought by the NRC authorities, the efforts were not fruitful. Official sources said that according to an estimate, West Bengal returned only about 6 per cent of the 1.14 lakh documents that were sent to it by the NRC authorities. Other big defaulters were Bihar, Chandigarh, Manipur and Meghalaya which returned just 2 to 7 per cent of the documents after verification. Sailesh said that among all the states, West Bengal was the state that did not send most of the documents. Most of the documents that we have not received among all states were from West Bengal. We had to struggle. We had to follow up. But we have not received a substantial number of documents from West Bengal. The response of West Bengal in terms of results was not satisfactory, Sailesh said. He added that West Bengal was the only state where an exception was made through deputation of his own staff to assist the state government. But still, the RGI did not receive all required documents for the draft NRC. Asked about the number of documents that the West Bengal did not provide, Sailesh said it would be a substantial number. Sailesh also said that there was a meeting through a video conference between the officials of the West Bengal government and the NRC authorities during which a request was made to send the responses. In the fallout of the NRC draft release, Mamata Banerjee has launched a scathing attack at the BJP and the central government over the draft citizen list for Assam, accusing the party of playing vote-bank politics, while also warning that the issue will destroy Indias relationship with Bangladesh. She said only one per cent of the 40 lakh residents, whose names are missing from the draft NRC, could be infiltrators, but people are being harassed in the name of infiltrators. She had alleged that the NRC exercise in Assam was done with a political motive to divide people and warned that it would lead to a bloodbath and a civil war in the country. Multiple police complaints and FIRs have been lodged against the Bengal CM in Assam for her remarks.