West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee said on Saturday that she will not allow the National Register of Citizens (NRC) to be implemented in the state.

“I will never allow the NRC to be implemented in Bengal. I have said no to it,” Banerjee said, addressing a mass namaz programme on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr at Red Road.

Without naming the BJP, she urged Muslim votes to consolidate against the party across the country and vote in 2024 Lok Sabha polls to exercise their democratic rights.

“Our election is scheduled within the coming one year in 2024. Ask your friends and relatives who work outside – all should exercise their vote next year to keep democracy intact. There is an attempt to change the Constitution and change history,” Banerjee said. “There is an attempt to divide the Muslim votes. If we all unite, they will not be able to come to power in the next Lok Sabha polls.”

She further said, without naming the BJP, “We want peace to prevail in the state. We don’t want riots. We don’t want divisiveness in the country. Those who want to create division – I must say that I am ready to give my life but I will not let the country be divided by people resorting to politics of hate.”

“I am fighting against the traitors. I have to fight against traitor parties, ED, CBI and agencies,” Banerjee said, indirectly referring to the BJP’s leader of opposition in state assembly Suvendu Adhikari.

BJP state president Sukanta Majumdar said, “Our chief minister Mamata Banerjee has turned a religious forum into a political one.”

CPI (M) leader Mohammed Salim too took exception to Banerjee’s remarks, saying, “Why is she using religious symbols and polarising people on the basis of religion? The fight should be on developmental issues like infrastructure, education and health.”

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