Amit Shah said that the NRC was an idea of the Congress government headed by late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1985.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president and Rajya Sabha MP Amit Shah today came out strongly in defence of his government over the release of the final draft of National Register of Citizen (NRC) in Assam. Speaking on the floor of the Rajya Sabha, Shah launched a scathing attack on the Congress-led Opposition who have been mounting pressure on the government over the elimination of around 40 lakh names in the final draft of NRC which was published yesterday.
Shah said that the NRC was an idea of the Congress government headed by late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1985. He said that NRC was at the heart of the Assam Accord which was signed on August 15, 1985, between Government of India and the representatives of the Assam Movement.
Quoting Rajiv Gandhi from the Assam Accord, Shah said that the former Congress PM had said that infiltrators need to be identified and sent back. Shah said: “Rajiv Gandhi signed Assam accord in 1985, which was similar to NRC. They did not have the courage to implement it, we did”.
Shah made the remark minutes before Home Minister Rajnath Singh was about to make a statement on the issue in the Upper House. As soon as Shah made a reference to Rajiv Gandhi, Congress MPs started protesting in the Well of the House and raised slogans. Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu urged the MPs to go back to their respective seats but as the chaos continued, he adjourned the House till 1:10 pm.
When the House assembled at 1:10pm to transact the business further, the relentless Opposition MPs again created ruckus, forcing the Chair to adjourn the House for the day.
The final draft of the NRC was published yesterday with 2.90 crore names out of 3.29 citizens in Assam, giving ammunition to the opposition to attack the government of indulging in . The Congress, Trinamool Congress, Samajwadi Party and others have accused the government of playing “vote-bank politics”. However, the government has said that it has no role to play in it and that the whole exercise was carried out under the supervision of the Supreme Court.
The Trinamool Congress of West Bengal has, however, rejected the government’s argument and said that the government was misleading citizens on the sensitive issue. Party Rajya Sabha MP Sukhendu Sekhar Roy said that his party condemns the government’s citizens list, adding that government’s claim of Supreme Court-monitored exercise is “false”.
Senior Congress leader and Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad too said that the government is resorting to these tactics to politicise the issue. “Genuine Indians should not be sent out of the country. NRC should not be politicised and used as vote bank. It is a human rights issue, not a Hindu-Muslim issue,” he said.
Earlier, Home Minister Rajnath Singh had assured that no coercive action will be initiated against anyone and that adequate time will be given to all who wish to file claims. The Registrar General of India has announced that the process to file claims and objections will start on August 30.