Cutting across party lines, legislators in Meghalaya on September 10 expressed their apprehensions that the rejection of 19 lakh applicants from the National Register Citizen (NRC) list in Assam may see Meghalaya being overwhelmed by such rejects.
The assembly also discussed the issue of women from Meghalaya married in Assam being left out of the NRC list.
Senior Congress legislator and Leader of opposition, Mukul Sangma said that the NRC process in Assam has drawn the attention of everyone in the country.
Stating that genuine Indians were excluded from the list, Sangma said even women from outside Assam who got married there were also left out.
Suggesting that a strong mechanisms must be put in place to prevent those discards from NRC’s list do not find their way into Meghalaya, Sangma called for the immediate implementation of the Meghalaya Residents Safety and Security Act, 2016 and also asked the government to activate the District Task Force to keep a tab on illegal immigrants.
The former chief minister said that labour inspectors should operate from the respective block which is not the case now.
Congress legislator from Umroi, George B Lyngdoh said that the rejection of 19 lakh people from the NRC has turned into a humanitarian crisis.
“The outcome will have wide ranging implication if those left out come into the state,” Lyngdoh said.
He also pointed out that even without NRC in Assam and the subsequent apprehension amongst the people of Meghalaya, the demography of tribals have been outnumbered.
Lyngdoh also raised concern over the newly introduced system of the Election Commission allowing a listed voter to introduce a fellow citizen.
“This will prove detrimental for the future of the state,” he said.
Replying to the short duration discussion, CM Conrad Sangma said that soon after he learnt of the matter, he spoke to his Assam counterpart Sarbananda Sonowal.
“Both the governments are committed to the issue to see that genuine citizens are not left affected,” Conrad said.
The CM also informed the assembly that Meghalaya Residents Safety and Security Act, 2016 has been implemented and the task force has also been created.
“There have been requests from many quarters that the Meghalaya Residents Safety and Security Act, 2016 be given more teeth,” Conrad said, adding that there needs to be a balance while keeping the interest of the people of the state, a law made by the state should not be in conflict with central laws and as well as genuine citizens of the country who come to the state for valid purposes are not harassed.