A week before the release of the draft on National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam, Government of India had silently informed Dhaka on the issue. There was no discussion on “deportation” of illegal migrants between the two nations during this unofficial talk between the two countries. According to a report by The Indian Express, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had spoken to Bangladesh Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan on the “broad contours” of the NRC (National Register of Citizens) and the entire process that was adopted by the GoI. India conveyed to Bangladesh that the process is Supreme court-directed and that it was a “purely draft” NRC. The talk took place when Rajnath Singh visited Bangladesh on July 13, 2018.
“We had kept the Bangladesh government in the loop about the NRC process, although the outcome was not known. We worked assiduously to contain the fallout, and have been in close touch with the Bangladesh government, even before the release of the NRC this week,” a source was quoted as saying in the report
The NRC draft was released earlier this week, in which over 40 lakh people in Assam had found their names excluded. After the release of a draft by Assam Government, Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Harshvardhan Shringla met Bangladesh Foreign minister A H Mahmood Ali and Bangladesh’s ruling party, Awami League’s general secretary Obaidul Quader, who is also the Transport Minister.
Meanwhile, Gen (Retd.) VK Singh, Minister of State (External affairs) is expected to meet Bangladesh Foreign minister A H Mahmood Ali in the upcoming ASEAN ministerial meetings in Singapore. Speaking to IE, Syed Muazzem Ali, Bangladesh’s envoy to India said, “This is an internal matter of India. We do not have anything to say at this stage.”
Neighbouring Bangladesh is scheduled to go to polls later this year and the issue of NRC is also likely to be raised by opposition parties during the campaigning. India is keen that the issue of NRC does not affect bilateral ties between two nations. New Delhi had also discussed the issue with alliance partners of the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina government about the issue.