At a time when the Assam government and various organizations of the state have refused to accept the list of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) by claiming that a large number of “illegal” foreigners name have been included in the list which was published on August 31, 2019, Assam Congress MLA demanded that the government should “accept” the updated NRC and “declare it as valid”.
Congress MLA, Abdur Rashid Mandal told ANI: “The updated NRC list should be declared valid by the Assam government”.
The NRC list was published on August 31, 2019, with the names of 3.11 crore people and over 19 lakh applicants were left out of it.
“The BJP is talking about the illegal foreigner’s name included in the NRC, but what they are doing. The NRC was completed. Who is in the power? They are in power at the state and centre. If illegal foreigners’ name is included in the NRC, then the government should punish all the officers who were engaged in the NRC process. We have spent lots of money on preparing this NRC. They are trying to mislead the people of Assam to do politics in the name of NRC, foreigners,” Abdur Rashid Mandal said.
“Those 19 lakh people who are left out of the NRC should be given a chance to go to court to prove their citizenship. The government should provide rejection slips to such people. But why have they not issued any rejection slips to these 19 lakh people? The updated NRC should be declared valid by the state government,” Mandal added.
The Congress MLA also said that “if any misappropriation happened”, then the BJP-led government is “responsible”, because the BJP has been in power at the centre since 2014 and in the state since 2016.
“The NRC State Coordinator was under the control of the state government. If there is any misappropriation, then the government is responsible. The NRC process was monitored under the supervision of the Supreme Court. Amit Shah told the parliament that they have published the NRC, which means they have accepted the NRC. But the Assam government is saying that they have not accepted it. There are differences between the centre and the state,” Mandal added.
Mandal added that the government is talking about the protection of the rights of the Assamese people for which Clause 6 of the Assam Accord is to be implemented and accordingly the Government of India formed the High Powered Committee led by B. K. Sharma as per the recommendation of the state government.
The report of the High Powered Committee for implementation of Clause 6 of the Assam Accord was received by the Assam government, but it is not submitted to the Government of India till now,” Mandal added.
Congress MLA accused BJP leaders of “engaging in politics” over the issue of NRC.
“Why was the delimitation process initiated if the NRC process was not completed?” questioned Mandal.
BJP, Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) raised the demand that the delimitation can’t take place so long as the NRC is not completed, Mandal added.
Mandal expressed hope that the state government will perform their duty constitutionally and as per the rules.
“If they will break the rule, then we will go to the court, will go to the public,” Abdur Rashid Mandal threatened.
Mandal claimed that former NRC State Coordinator Hitesh Dev Sarma’s appointment was challenged in court.
“Recently, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report which was tabled in the state assembly has detected large-scale anomalies in the process of updating the NRC in Assam,” Mandal said.
Mandal added that the CAG report said that the updation of NRC in state commenced in December 2014 with an initial project cost of Rs 288.18 crore, with deadlines for completion within 14 months i.e., February 2016.
“However, the timeline for the project kept extending leading to the publication of the final draft in August 2019,” he added.