Cong vows to stop NDA's plan to scrap NRC in Assam

Cong vows to stop NDA's plan to scrap NRC in Assam

An official checks the documents submitted by people at an National Register of Citizens (NRC) Seva Kendra in Guwahati. (PTI Photo)

Congress in Assam on Sunday said it would take all possible steps to stop the BJP-led government to scrap the NRC exercise while reiterating its claim that most of those left out of the final NRC list were Indian citizens. 

"The NRC exercise became possible due to the steps taken by the Congress government between 2005 to 2015. The final list of the NRC was released on August 31 this year under the supervision of the Supreme. BJP tried to take credit for the NRC after the draft list excluded over 40 lakh people but now when the number came down to 19.06 lakh, it is seeking to scrap it. We will not allow this to happen and will take all possible steps to stop it from scrapping the NRC," president of Asom Pradesh Congress Committee, Ripun Bora said here.

This comes four days after home minister Amit Shah announced in the Rajya Sabha that the NRC exercise would be conducted across the country including again in Assam. Hours after Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said the BJP had requested the Centre to scrap the NRC as the Supreme Court-monitored exercise failed to meet the aspirations of the people of Assam. He also called for one nation, one NRC with a single cut-off date.

Sources said BJP was seeking to scrap the NRC as most of those excluded from the final list are Hindu Bengalis. 

Over 19.06 lakh of the 3.29 crore applicants were left out of the final list of the NRC, which was released on August 31, 2018, with March 24, 1971, as the cut-off date. The cut-off date was decided in the Assam Accord of 1985, which was signed between the Centre and the Assam-based organisations, who led a six-year-long anti-foreigners movement. 

Bora demanded that instead of scrapping the NRC, the government must take steps to allow the excluded persons to submit their claims in the foreigner tribunals to prove their Indian citizenship.