Deactivating Aadhaar cards dirty political game: Mamata

West Bengal CM also says a state cadre IPS officer being allegedly dubbed a 'Khalistani' by BJP workers had damaged Bengal's reputation

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee at an event to observe International Mother Language Day in Kolkata (photo: PTI)
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee at an event to observe International Mother Language Day in Kolkata (photo: PTI)


Claiming that Aadhaar cards were deactivated mostly for people from the state's Matua community, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday lashed out at the BJP, alleging that it was a "political game" and the conspiracy had been "stopped" by her party.

Speaking at an International Mother Language Day programme in Kolkata, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo claimed that this conspiracy was hatched to implement the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in the state. "A dirty conspiracy was hatched by deactivating Aadhaar cards, but we have stopped it. This is Bengal, not some other place. Do not forget that," she said.

She also alleged that there are plans to set up detention camps in the state. "Aadhaar cards of Matua community people have been deactivated. Who gave you the right to do so? They don't even know why the cards were deactivated," Banerjee said. Perhaps after five years, these people will be called foreigners, the TMC supremo claimed, adding: "This is a dirty political game keeping in mind the vote bank."

Matuas are Bengali Hindus who are classified as Namasudra, a Scheduled Caste community, whose members are more or less equally divided between the TMC and the BJP, with members of the prominent Thakur family leading the respective camps.

Banerjee had earlier written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking reasons for the deactivation of Aadhaar cards, a step reportedly taken without the state government's knowledge.

Sikhs in Kolkata protest outside the BJP headquarters (photo: PTI)
Sikhs in Kolkata protest outside the BJP headquarters (photo: PTI)

At the same event, referring to Tuesday's incident of a Sikh IPS officer — deputed to prevent West Bengal BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari from visiting the state's troubled Sandeshkhali area — being allegedly dubbed a 'Khalistani' by saffron party workers, Banerjee said the incident had damaged the reputation of the state.

"What was the fault of one Punjabi officer? He was doing his duty. How can you call him a Khalistani just because he was wearing a turban? There are so many Muslims who are IAS, IPS, and WBCS officers. Will you call them Pakistanis?" she asked.

Banerjee stated that there are a Punjab Regiment and Gorkha Regiment in the armed forces but there is no Bengal Regiment despite the Bengalis having made a huge contribution to the country's freedom struggle.

"As per @BJP4India, every person wearing a TURBAN is a KHALISTANI. I VEHEMENTLY CONDEMN this audacious attempt to undermine the reputation of our SIKH BROTHERS & SISTERS, revered for their SACRIFICES and UNWAVERING DETERMINATION to our nation," she posted on X on Tuesday.

"We stand firm in protecting Bengal's social harmony and will take stern lawful measures to prevent any attempts to disrupt it," Banerjee said..

The BJP, however, denied the charge and accused the police officer of not performing his duty following Constitutional norms.

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