Assam NRC was a failure for BJP, says Congress

Last Updated 16 October 2019, 20:57 IST

The National Register of Citizens (NRC) exercise conducted in Assam was a failure of the BJP, senior Congress leader Harish Rawat said here on Wednesday while alleging that the ruling party was also not sincere to help the Indian citizens, who were left out of the exercise.

"The way BJP projected Assam as a hub of illegal migrants, the NRC proved their claims wrong. There are many Indian citizens among the 19 lakh people, who have been left out of the NRC. After they failed to properly complete the NRC exercise, now they are even not sincere to help the Indian citizens, who were wrongly left out of the NRC," Rawat told reporters here while attacking BJP ahead of the by-elections for four Assembly constituencies in Assam slated for October 21.

Rawat said 200 foreigner tribunals the state government is planning to set up were not enough to dispose off 19.06 lakh claims to be filed by those left out of the NRC. "There should be at least 1000 tribunals to clear the claims and we demand that at least 500 should be immediately set up. But the state government has only announced to set up 200 tribunals. But they have not put the infrastructure and facilities in place yet. This shows their insincerity to help those citizens who were left out of the NRC," he said.

Former chief minister Tarun Gogoi had earlier claimed that most of those left out of the NRC are Indian citizens.

Rawat also slammed the Centre's plan to re-introduce the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) saying it was part of BJP's "communal agenda" to win elections. "The CAB is against the Assam Accord of 1985, which promised to detect foreigners with March 24, 1971 as the cut-off, irrespective of religion. But CAB wants to offer citizenship to non-Muslim migrants till 2014. So the people of Assam has to decide and give BJP a fitting reply in the by-elections," Rawat said.

Arunachal committee on CAB

Fearing possible adverse impact of CAB on the state's indigenous people, Arunachal Pradesh government has set up a nine-member consultative committee to suggest measures to safeguard the state's indigenous population.

This comes after home minister Amit Shah announced in Guwahati on October 9 that the bill would be soon re-introduced in the Parliament.

The bill seeks to allow persecuted minorities from Bangladeh, Pakistan and Afghanistan such as Hindus, Christians, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Sikhs, who had migrated till December 2014 to apply for Indian citizenship, after a stay of six years. The indigenous people of the Northeast are against it fearing that the bill would give citizenship to large number of illegal migrants and reduce them into minorities.

The committee is headed by Arunachal home minister Baman Felix and comprise five other MLAs--Ninong Ering, Tapuk Taku , Kardo Nyigor, Kento Jini and Hayeng Mangfi. Kardak Ete, senior additional advocate general and Kaling Tayeng, Commissioner of home/political department and Sadhana Deori, secretary of general administration department are also members/member secretary of the committee.

"The consultative committee will conduct meetings with all stakeholders including community based organisations, student organisations, political parties and other organisations/individuals. They will give recommendations on the issue, in respect of the safeguards enshrined in the Constitution of India, Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act of 1873 and Chin Hill Regulations Act of 1896 and other acts and rules in place protecting the interests of indigenous people of the state of Arunachal Pradesh," said an official statement.

(Published 16 October 2019, 20:57 IST)

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