Assam ex-CM demands 'white paper' on foreigners

Assam ex-CM demands 'white paper' on foreigners

Amidst an ongoing controversy over the National Register of Citizens (NRC), former Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi on Monday asked the Narendra Modi government to publish a 'white paper' on the number of foreigners it has detected and deported during its four-year rule.

The senior Congress leader also claimed that the NRC, being updated in Assam, was conceived by his government in 2005, but the BJP has been trying to hijack it for political gain.

"I demand that the government publish a white paper on how many foreigners were detected and deported in last four years and what action have been taken to seal the border (with Bangladesh). We want a clear picture," he said at a press conference here.

Gogoi said it was the Congress government under him that had first launched the process of updating the NRC and set up a committee under the chairmanship of the then minister Bhumidhar Barnman in 2005.

He said that in that committee, the then minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who is now a minister in the Assam's BJP government, was a member.

Another sub-committee, headed by Sarma, was also constituted in 2007 to expedite the NRC updation process.

"The NRC is my baby, the Congress's baby. We are the natural father. (Narendra) Modi is the foster father. We want the NRC to be implemented in a just and fair manner. All genuine Indians must be included in the NRC," he said.

The former chief minister said the draft NRC, which was published on July 30 and excluded names of over 40 lakh residents of the state, did not give any indication how many foreigners were found in the exercise. "Till now there is no idea about foreigners".

"On one hand the government is saying we could not describe anyone as a foreigner and on the other hand BJP president Amit Shah is saying that they were all illegal immigrants. This is a completely contrary view," he said.


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