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Dilip Ghosh: Those coming from Bangladesh will have to apply for citizenship

  • Published at 10:00 pm January 18th, 2020
Dilip-Ghosh-Twitter
Dilip Ghosh Twitter

He urged refugees to get their citizenship under the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 or CAA

West Bengal BJP President Dilip Ghosh on Friday said that Aadhaar and PAN cards are not proof of citizenship and hence everyone who came from Bangladesh will have to apply for Indian citizenship.

He urged refugees to get their citizenship under the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 or CAA, reports the Deccan Herald.

Dilip, while addressing a pro-CAA rally in Kolkata, urged people not to fall into the "trap" of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and other TMC leaders, who have been saying that refugees living in West Bengal for decades and possessing Aadhaar and PAN cards need not apply for citizenship, reports NDTV.

"...This is misleading because refugees have to seek citizenship through new the citizenship law. If you do not submit your details, you will be in trouble," Dilip said.

Taking a dig at anti-CAA rallies in the city and across the country, he said: "The intellectuals had never hit the streets when Hindus had to flee to India from neighbouring countries."

Ghosh made the comments a day after he was re-elected as West Bengal BJP president, reports The Times of India.

The state BJP president said the CAA has been brought in to give citizenship to refugees and not snatch it from citizens, reports NDTV.

"The opposition is trying to mislead the masses. The prime minister will give three to four months to apply for citizenship."

The state BJP chief said that to get citizenship, those who came from Bangladesh will not have to produce any document apart from a declaration comprising of the date on which they came to India and where they used to live in Bangladesh.

"You all [people from Bangladesh] should apply for citizenship. You do not need documents to prove anything, just fill up the forms with the name of your parents and you will get the citizenship," he said.

“This is the only evidence you need and you will be considered an Indian citizen from the date that you mention in the declaration as the date of your arrival from Bangladesh. Those who came till 31 December 2014 will be granted Indian citizenship.”

The amended citizenship law has emerged as the latest flashpoint in the state, with the TMC opposing the legislation tooth and nail and the BJP pressing for its implementation.

Dilip's comment was criticized by the ruling TMC.

"Who is Dilip Ghosh to decide who is a citizen and who is not? The people of this state will give Dilip Ghosh and his party a befitting reply for its arrogance," Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Tapas Roy said.

Ghosh is known for his controversial statements and activities, which has often put him at loggerheads with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

Earlier, the BJP leader had sparked controversy by threatening to shoot people who destroy public property during protests.