NEW DELHI: The Congress alleged that the current NRC updation exercise was intended to harass people and asked that the issue be resolved politically in the spirit of the Assam Accord, signed in 1985 during the tenure of then prime minister late Rajiv Gandhi.
The affected people will now have to run around lawyers and government offices getting the corrections done, the party said.
“The National Register of Citizens (NRC) was initiated by the UPA under Manmohan Singhji to fulfill the commitment made in the Assam Accord of 1985. However, the manner in which this exercise has been undertaken by the BJP governments at the Centre and in Assam leaves much to be desired. There are reports pouring in from all corners of Assam of Indian citizens finding their names missing in the draft NRC, creating massive insecurity in the state. Clearly, after spending close to Rs 1,200 crore, the execution of this critical and highly sensitive exercise has been tardy. The government must move swiftly to resolve this crisis,” said Congress president Rahul Gandhi and asked party members to help those “against whom an injustice has been done in the draft NRC, no matter what their religion, caste, gender, linguistic group or political affiliation”.
Sushmita Dev, Congress MP from Silchar told Express, “The NRC authority issues new circular every week… It’s completely haphazard… This is a political issue and should be resolved in the spirit of the Assam peace accord.”
Dev alleged that the move to exclude 40 lakh people from the NRC draft reflected a frenzy to identify foreigners in Assam while genuine citizens were being left out. “The identification process is deeply flawed, full of human error and discriminatory. Genuine citizens are going to be left out… 40 lakh in a population of three crore is big,” she said.
The state Congress unit plans to hold camps across Assam to provide legal help to the affected persons. Besides the tedious legal fight, the bigger challenge for the country was to figure out what would it do with the people eventually left stateless, asked Dev.
Congress veteran Anand Sharma slammed the draft NRC saying the exclusions raised questions over the credibility of the process. The move would have interstate repercussions as it involves humanitarian aspect and India’s relationship with neighbouring Bangladesh, Sharma said.