Centre must clarify why updated NRC draft is being scrapped: Tarun Gogoi

Veteran Congress leader Tarun Gogoi on Friday asked the BJP-led central government to make it clear why the final NRC would be scrapped, when the saffron party had taken all the credit and promised to deport 4 million illegal immigrants after its draft was published.

Gogoi, former chief minister of Assam, also alleged that Union Home Minister Amit Shah's announcement to carry out the National Register of Citizens (NRC) process across India is a tactic to divert people's attention from the real issues of the country.

"The Centre should clarify on what basis the updated final NRC in Assam will be scrapped. When the first draft of the NRC was published, the BJP had taken all the credit and promised to detect and deport 40 lakh illegal foreigners," he told a press conference here.

The part publication of draft NRC was done on the midnight of December 31, 2017, and the complete draft was published on July 30, 2018. The names of 40.07 lakh applicants did not find a place in that document. The exercise was carried out under the supervision of the Supreme Court.

The updated final NRC which validates bonafide Indian citizens of Assam was released on August 31 this year excluding names of over 1.9 million applicants in the state.

Amit Shah on Wednesday announced in the Rajya Sabha that the NRC would be updated again in the state along with the rest of the country. On the same day, senior Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said the state government has requested Shah to dismiss the NRC in its current form.

"It is just another tactic of the BJP government to divert the attention of the people from the real issues such as unemployment, economic slowdown, inflation, black money, corruption, Rafale deal and even electoral bonds which is nothing but a scam," Gogoi claimed.

He said the BJP-led government has failed to work out an error-free NRC in a small state like Assam with a population of only 3 crores.

"How can the people expect that Shah will be able to prepare an NRC for entire India with a population of 130 crores?" the three-time chief minister of Assam asked.

"The NRC will become a futile exercise once the BJP enacts the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. The Assam Accord will also become null and void. So, instead of preparing a fresh NRC in Assam, they can rectify the mistakes in the final NRC," Gogoi said.

Debabrata Saikia, leader of the opposition in Assam Assembly and a Congress leader, on Thursday claimed that the BJP wants a fresh NRC update without the supervision of the Supreme Court, as it wants to exclude a section of genuine Indian citizens from the religious minority community and include illegal migrants from a linguistic minority group.

Assam, which had faced an influx of people from Bangladesh since the early 20th century, is the only state having an NRC, which was first prepared in 1951.

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel