Amit Shah using NRC to polarise society: Congress

Senior Congress leader and former union minister Jairam Ramesh. (PTI photo)

Congress on Wednesday charged that BJP president Amit Shah was talking about NRC in Bengal, Jharkhand, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh to polarise society for votes but he was silent about the exercise in Assam where it was being updated.

"The NRC was decided for Assam in 1985 for historical reasons and when the process to update it is being done under the supervision of the Supreme Court and over 19 lakh people excluded, BJP is trying to negate it. Amit Shah is now not talking about NRC in Assam but he talks about NRC in Bengal, Jharkhand and Karnataka just to polarise our secular society for political gains," senior Congress leader and former union minister Jairam Ramesh told reporters here.

Stating that the decision to update the NRC was taken in Assam Accord of 1985, which was signed during former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi's tenure, Ramesh said a meeting chaired by another former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2005 had decided to start the update process and it began in 2013, when Congress was in power in the state. 

"BJP is also trying to destroy the secular fabric of the Constitution by trying to amend the Citizenship Act to offer citizenship to migrants based on religion. This is in violation of the Assam Accord of 1985 and the basic tenets of our Constitution. Our stand on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB) is clear and we will continue to oppose it tooth and nail," Ramesh said. Congress said citizenship should be decided based on the cut-off date of March 24, 1971, irrespective of religion. 

A six-member AICC team including Ramesh is touring the Northeast to take stock of people's response regarding NRC, CAB and Naga agreement. 

Earlier in the morning, the Congress leaders including their counterparts in Assam also staged a protest in front of the regional branch of Reserve Bank of India here alleging Narendra Modi government's failure to push the economy into a doldrum.

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