Lok Sabha elections 2019: BJP promises NRC replication across India in poll manifesto

The Congress promised its exact opposite — withdrawal of the Bill that caused widespread resentment in the Northeast.

Published: 09th April 2019 03:14 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th April 2019 11:01 AM   |  A+A-

Assam-NRC

People wait in a queue to check their names on the final draft of the state's National Register of Citizens after it was released at an NRC Seva Kendra in Assam. (File | PTI)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The BJP on Monday promised to extend the controversial National Register of Citizens — to identify illegal immigrants — to all states and renewed its commitment to enacting the controversial Citizenship Amendment Bill in its manifesto.

The Congress promised its exact opposite — withdrawal of the Bill that caused widespread resentment in the Northeast.

At present, Assam is the only state to have NRC, but its draft did not include the names of around 40 lakh people. The final NRC list is to be released on July 31.

The BJP’s manifesto proposed to “implement the NRC in a phased manner in other parts of the country” to combat the infiltration of illegal migrants, but political commentators raised serious concerns, citing lack of clarity about the process.

The NRC point in the BJP manifesto came as a surprise because in the past it had always claimed there was no proposal to extend it to other states. Union minister Hansraj Gangaram Ahir told Parliament on December 18, 2018: “At present, there is no proposal to extend the National Register of Citizens to States other than Assam.”

On NRC, the manifesto said, “There has been a huge change in the cultural and linguistic identity of some areas due to illegal immigration, resulting in an adverse impact on local people’s livelihood and employment. We will expeditiously complete the National Register of Citizens process in these areas on priority. In future, we will implement the NRC in a phased manner in other parts of the country.”

NRC has been opposed by many in Assam who have questioned the method of arriving at this list of ‘genuine list’ of residents and several people have also alleged that they have been unfairly left out of the citizenship lists.  Political commentator Mahendra Lama said, “We do not know the intentions behind this promise but it does not seem like a good idea especially when there is a lot of confusion over how the process works. The process of arriving at this list is not scientific.”

Lama added that the NRC process seems incomplete because there is no clarity as to what will happen to people who are declared foreigners.

“How will we treat people who are found to be foreigners? There are no clear provisions for foreigners. We call them by different names-- infiltrators, refugees, illegal migrants, economic migrants, environment migrants. There is no clarity over this. They need to be treated accordingly.”

The Citizenship Amendment Bill, which also featured prominently in the BJP manifesto, has also triggered immense controversy especially in North Eastern states where a lot of migrants reside and residents oppose this as they believe their resources are compromised due to these migrants.

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp