New Delhi: Even as the debate rages in India over the NRC final draft where 40 lakh names are missing, Bangladesh has claimed that the lakhs who stare at being homeless are not 'Bangladeshis'.
A Bangladeshi minister told a news channel that this was India and Assam's internal 'issue'.
Bangladesh's Information Minister Hasanul-Haque Inu told WION News: "This is an internal issue for Assam and India, Bangladesh has nothing to do with it."
He said no Indian government had raised the issue of migration to North-Eastern states with Dhaka.
Inu said there was no reason for Bangladesh to responds because the 40 lakh weren't 'Bangladeshis' and that there was no official communication from New Delhi. The minister said people missing from the list probably belonged to Assam's neighbouring states.
On the home front, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee warned that exclusion of 4 million people from National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam could lead to "bloodbath" and a "civil war" in the country, which was strongly denounced by BJP president Amit Shah.
She also accused the Modi government of trying to make millions of people "stateless" in Assam for political gains.
However, Shah, rejecting Banerjee's charges, sought to project the NRC in Assam as a national security issue and rights of Indians. He also asked all opposition parties to clarify whether they support NRC or not.
The attack on the government by Banerjee and several opposition parties came, a day after names of over 4 million people in Assam were excluded from the draft NRC list, prepared following a long-drawn process to identify illegal Bangladeshis living in the state.
"The NRC is being done with a political motive. We will not let this happen. They (BJP) are trying to divide the people. The situation cannot be tolerated. There will be a civil war, blood bath in the country," Banerjee told a conclave here.
The issue rocked the parliament as well. Separately, a number of political parities held a protest outside the parliament, accusing the BJP of trying to divide the society and making Indian citizens become refugees in their own country.
At a press conference, Shah asserted that the NDA government was determined to throw out illegal Bangladeshis from the country and that NRC will be implemented "to the last full stop". He also asked all political parties to clarify their stand on NRC.
The Congress also said the BJP of playing politics on Assam's NRC and accused Shah of deliberately giving a "mischievous twist" to the issue. Congress senior spokesperson Anand Sharma said the BJP and the government should behave responsibly on the issue in national interest and unity.
He said the issue that the Congress is highlighting is that a large number of Indians have been rendered as refugees in their own country and this was unacceptable.
Joining the row, BSP president Mayawati condemned the exclusion of over 40 lakh people and demanded an all-party meeting on it.
"By depriving 40 lakh people from religious and linguistic minorities living there for years of their citizenship, the BJP governments both at the Centre and in Assam have achieved the target of their narrow and divisive politics," she said in a press release.
The West Bengal Assembly passed today a motion against the final draft of the National Register of Citizens in Assam and adopted an unanimous proposal condemning it.The motion was moved under the Rule 185 by state Parliamentary Affairs Minister Partha Chatterjee.
"We have to stage a protest together irrespective of our political colour. The NRC is nothing but a game plan for vote bank politics," Chatterjee said.
He claimed several well-known people have expressed their wish to visit Assam in this connection.
Leader of Opposition Abdul Mannan (Congress) questioned the silence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue and said that if needed political parties might visit the national capital to stage protest against the NRC in Assam.
Senior CPI(M) leader and Left Front legislature party leader Sujan Chakraborty expressed his concern and described the entire exercise as anti-human.
The BJP's three MLAs were not present in the House during the discussion on the motion.
Mannan and Chakraborty had yesterday demanded that a motion be brought in the Assembly to discuss the issue.
Registrar General of India Sailesh had announced in Guwahati yesterday that 2,89,83,677 people were found to be eligible for inclusion in the final draft of the NRC out of a total 3,29,91,384 applicants and around 40.07 lakh of them did not find a place in the document.
The fate of these about 40 lakh people remains in limbo with the Centre declining to comment on their citizenship status.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today warned that exclusion of 4 million people from National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam could lead to "bloodbath" and a "civil war" in the country.
She also asked Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to clarify whether the Centre intends to carry out an exercise similar to NRC-Assam in her state.
Banerjee had hit out at the Centre yesterday accusing it of resorting to "vote bank politics".
"This divide and rule policy will finish the country," she told a press conference in Kolkata and alleged it was a "gameplan" to isolate and "throw out of the state" Bengali speaking people and Biharis.
Banerjee also claimed that names of people who have passports, Aadhaar and voter cards have also been excluded from the final draft.
Assam, which has witnessed an influx of people from neighbouring Bangladesh since the early 20th century, is the only state to have the NRC, which was first prepared in 1951.
The current NRC is being updated with March 24, 1971 as the cut-off date to include names of genuine Indian citizens.