Kolkata: The Maoists have echoed the Trinamool Congress by calling the National Register of Citizens (NRC) a direct attack on Indian diversity. An undated press statement issued by the Communist Party of India (Maoist) also suggests that the process to identify legal citizens is an attempt to deviate public attention from the real problems of the Assamese people.

The Eastern Regional Bureau of the CPI (Maoist) in its statement said that it was absurd that 4 million people couldn’t make it to the second draft list. Immigration into Assam has been lower than the national average between 1971 and 2018, the party claims. The NRC considers 24 March 1971—a day before the independent nation of Bangladesh was created—the cut-off for legal migration into India.

Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee has also voiced her concerns over legal Indian citizens being left out of the list. The Bharatiya Janata Party is “trying to divide the people", Banerjee has said time and again. According to the CPI (Maoist) as well, the NRC and the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, aim at “strengthening the politics of division across the country".

“The BJP is trying to scrap the refugee status of Muslims through the 2016 Bill," the statement reads.

Speaking of the diversity of Assam, the statement reads, the Bengali-speaking population has been migrating to Assam since 1826 after its annexation by the British government. In 1828, Charles Alexander founded the first tea garden in Assam and hence started the migration of tribal people from the Chhota Nagpur plateau into the state as tea labourers. While Assam previously was a part of Bengal Residency, it was given statehood as part of the union of Bengal provinces in 1911.

The party, which has a legal ban upon it, has accused the British rulers and a nexus of “Congress-RSS-Jan Sangh-BJP, Gandhi-Nehru-Patel-Shyamaprasad" alike of using and manipulating identity politics to suppress the voice of the downtrodden.

The statement also mentions that migrant labourers have always contributed to the economy of a nation. Migrants from the Middle East have done so for the Western nations, just as migrants to Assam have done for India. “We protest the classification of the labour force on the basis of national-foreigner, citizen-migrant or Hindu-Muslim," the statement says.

The resemblances in the protests by Banerjee and the Maoists are an example of the proposed ‘federal front’, according to the BJP leadership. “Left, ultra left and right wingers have all come together to defeat Narendra Modi and he has no one’s support but of the Indian people," said Sayantan Basu, general secretary of the BJP state unit.

He added that there will be no compromise in the question of guaranteeing nationality for Hindus. “This nation is committed to giving citizenship to Hindu refugees," he said.

Trinamool leaders, however, were unavailable for comments. Mahua Moitra, a party legislator who was a part of the delegation that went to Assam to take a note of the situation and was detained inside Silchar airport, also refused to comment.

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