TMC hits out at Centre for driving Bengali out of Assam

TMC hits out at Centre for driving Bengali out of Assam

People stand in a queue to check their names on the draft list of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) outside an NRC centre in Rupohi village, Nagaon district, northeastern state of Assam. (Reuters photo)

The Trinamool Congress Saturday hit out at BJP government at the Centre for allegedly trying to drive out Bengalis from Assam in the name of NRC and said it will have to take the responsibility of the 19 lakh applicants who failed to make it to the final list.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has expressed concern over 19.07 lakh people being left out of the final NRC list and said "People have been rendered homeless in their own country", senior TMC leader Firhad Hakim said.

TMC has been one of the most voracious critics of the citizens' register and had accused BJP governments both at the Centre and in Assam of trying to drive out Bengalis from the northeastern state.

"Our party (TMC) supremo (Banerjee) is very concerned about the future of the 19 lakh people who have been left out of the NRC list. What will happen to them? What is their future? The central government has to take their responsibility," Hakim said.

Last year after the draft NRC list was released, Banerjee had gone all out to oppose it and had even sent a TMC delegation to Assam to talk to the people.

"It is a plot to drive out Bengalis from Assam. How can the government be so insensitive that on one fine morning it is declaring citizens, who have been living in Assam for the last several decades, as foreigners," the TMC leader said.

The updated final NRC, which validates bonafide Indian citizens of Assam, was out on Saturday, with over 19 lakh applicants who failed to make it to the list staring at an uncertain future.

A total of 3,30,27,661 people had applied for inclusion in the NRC. Of them, 3,11,21,004 have been included in the final list and 19,06,657 excluded, according to a statement from the Assam NRC coordinator's office. Those who have been excluded from the National Register of Citizens have 120 days to appeal against it at the Foreigners Tribunals.