DARJEELING: BJP MP from Darjeeling, Raju Bista, termed the rumours surrounding exclusion of one lakh members of the Gorkha community from the National Register of Citizens (NRC) final list in Assam as untrue.
"All this talk about over 1 lakh Gorkhas being left out of NRC roll is a rumour and has no basis in facts. This figure is pure speculation on part of a few individuals and the final figures of how many have been left out etc will only be determined after a few days when we have official figures in hand," a press release by Bista's office on Sunday read.
The press note came after the Chairman of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration, Anit Thapa, had asked him to speak up on the alleged exclusion of approximately one lakh members of the community. Thapa had also raised the issue of the exclusion of Manju Devi - granddaughter of freedom fighter, Assam Congress stalwart and Gorkha leader Chitilal Upadhyay - from the NRC list.
Without taking any names, Bista alleged that some opposition parties were trying to gain political mileage out of the situation and blamed them for the lack of development in the Gorkha dominated regions. "A few political parties are spreading misinformation and attempting to mislead our people, in order to gain some political mileage out of it. The same people who have jeopardised the future of Gorkhas in Darjeeling hills, terai and dooars are today trying to create a similar situation in Assam. I request them not to politicise this issue," the release added.
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He also recalled the promises made by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh and Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal to the community. "As you all may recall, earlier this year, during his Kalimpong speech Home Minister Amit Shahji had assured the Gorkha community that we have nothing to worry about and that Gorkhas will be protected at all costs. Former Home Minister Rajnath Singhji and Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowalji have both assured us that Indian Gorkhas have nothing to worry about," the release said.
He went on to state that the implementation of NRC in Assam was being carried out under the supervision of the Supreme Court and, therefore, persons whose names had not appeared in the final list would get a chance to get their cases heard. "I request everyone to be patient, and wait for proper information to be declared officially instead of allowing people with vested interests to create confusion, panic and disorder," the note read