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Centre ‘deactivating’ Aadhaar of minorities in Bengal as precursor to NRC: Mamata announces 'separate card'

Mamata stressed that her government will not implement NRC in Bengal and said that TMC is ready to "give our blood" but "not going to exclude any person from West Bengal".

Ashesh Mallick Edited By: Ashesh Mallick @asheshmallick07 Kolkata Published on: February 19, 2024 18:06 IST
Mamata Banerjee, West Bengal, Aadhaar cards, BJP, TMC
Image Source : PTI West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday (February 19) claimed that the BJP-led central government was deactivating the Aadhaar cards of SC, ST and minority community people of the state ahead of the Lok Sabha elections as a precursor to bring in NRC.

Speaking to the reporters at the state secretariat, Mamata said that she would write to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the matter.

"Why have so many Aadhaar cards been deactivated before the Lok Sabha? Aadhaar cards of people mostly of the Matua community have been deactivated. Cards of the STs and minorities are also being deactivated," she said.

No NRC in Bengal: Mamata

Mamata stressed that her government will not implement NRC in Bengal and said that TMC is ready to "give our blood" but "not going to exclude any person from West Bengal".

"I want to ask the BJP why are they playing this dirty game?... They are snatching away the democratic rights of the people, and the rights of the beneficiaries. We are not going to implement NRC in Bengal please remember... We are ready to give our blood but we are not going to exclude any person from West Bengal," she said.

She said that her government will give a separate card to those whose names were allegedly being removed.

"We will give a separate card to those whose names are being struck off... We will not let any poor person go wrong. We have prepared a portal named 'Aadhaar Grievance Portal of West Bengal Government'. Those whose Aadhaar card has been deactivated should inform us as soon as possible so that they continue to enjoy their democratic, social and economic rights," she announced.

Mamata’s similar allegation

Earlier on February 18, Mamata alleged that the BJP-led Centre “deactivated” Aadhaar card of people in the state to prevent them from getting benefits of various welfare schemes of the state government through their bank accounts.

Speaking at a public distribution programme in the Birbhum district, Mamata said that her government would continue paying the beneficiaries of the various state-run welfare schemes even if a person does not have an Aadhaar card.

"Be aware, they (BJP-led Centre) are deactivating Aadhaar cards. Several Aadhar cards have been deactivated in many districts of Bengal. They (BJP-led Centre) are delinking Aadhaar cards so that before polls people do not get benefits of Lakshmi Bhandar through banks, free ration," she said.

"But we will continue paying the beneficiaries of the schemes even if they have no Aadhaar card. Not a single beneficiary will be affected," she added.

(With inputs from agencies)

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