Citizenship Bill may help BJP in West Bengal
It will also help BJP cleanse its anti-Bengali image that had become a perception issue for the party following the National Register for Citizens process in Assam.
KOLKATA: The Citizenship Bill might have dampened the prospects of BJP in the northeast, but it is expected to brighten the party’s future in West Bengal. BJP hopes to add at least 10 million Hindu Bangladeshi refugees to its vote bank if the Bill is implemented.
It will also help BJP cleanse its anti-Bengali image that had become a perception issue for the party following the National Register for Citizens (NRC) process in Assam.
Professor Mohit Roy, chief of BJP’s refugee cell and a member of its core team working on the Bill, said the government won’t need a huge mechanism in place to grant citizenship to these refugees.
“There are simple forms. They do not even need to submit any document because we know that they might not have carried important documents while fleeing a country. So, this will be a smooth process and not as tedious as NRC,” he said. “We won’t need NRC here if the Citizenship Amendment Act comes into force.”
According to BJP members, the party will set up camps to campaign for the Bill in the frontier districts that have the highest settlement of refugees. “This issue will be at the forefront of our election campaign. This is a major achievement for Hindu refugees from Bangladesh,” said BJP state president Dilip Ghosh.
The Bill’s passage in Parliament has suddenly brought refugees in the limelight in Bengal. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday instructed her administration to immediately provide refugee colonies with government sanction.