NRC will become waste paper: Tarun Gogoi

NRC will become waste paper: Tarun Gogoi

Former Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi. PTI Photo

The passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB) as BJP is planning will reduce the National Register of Citizens (NRC) into a waste paper, former Assam chief minister and veteran Congress leader, Tarun Gogoi said on Tuesday.

"The NRC was updated with March 24, 1971, as agreed in the Assam Accord of 1985 to solve the state's long-standing foreigner problem. But if the CAB is passed with December 31, 2014, as Amit Shah said here yesterday, NRC will become a waste paper. This is a conspiracy of BJP and some of its allies to derail the NRC to give citizenship to illegal migrants based on religion," Gogoi told reporters here.

Gogoi's statement comes a day after union home minister and BJP president, Amit Shah told the party's allies in the Northeast that the CAB would be passed with December 31, 2014, as the cut-off date. The bill seeks to allow "persecuted" minorities in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan such as Hindus, Christians, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Sikhs, who had migrated till December 31, 2014, to apply for Indian citizenship after a stay of six-years. Shah, however, insisted that CAB would not dilute the existing laws which are in force to protect identity, language and culture in the Northeast. Shah's assurance came in reply to fear and worry expressed by chief ministers of Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland, here on Monday.

"What was the use of update of the NRC if they wanted to pass the CAB to give citizenship to illegal migrants (non-Muslims) till December 31, 2014? What was the use of spending crores (Rs. 1,200 crore so far) and using government staff (52,000 personnel) for NRC work? It is because of their plan to nullify NRC, BJP did not carry out the exercise properly. It is because of BJP's failure, we did not get an error-free NRC. Lakhs of genuine citizens were dropped and many illegal migrants made the list," he said.

"We want a correct NRC as per the Assam Accord to solve the foreigner issue. We can not stop them in Parliament as we don't have numbers but we will go to people to make them aware about the fallout of the CAB and BJP's conspiracy to nullify NRC," Gogoi said.

BJP had passed the bill in Lok Sabha in January but did not table it in the Rajya Sabha, mainly due to strong protests in the Northeast. Before the Lok Sabha polls, Shah promised that BJP would again table the bill.