Congress’s commitment to oust ‘foreigners’

New Delhi : The Congress on Saturday asserted its full commitment to Assam’s National Register of Citizens (NRC) to oust the foreigners from the state under the 1985 accord of then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi by identifying the illegal immigrants, accusing the ruling Bhartiya Janata Party using it to divide the society to divert the people’s attention from the Modi government’s colossal failure on all fronts.

The Congress Working Committee (CWC) discussed the controversy raging over NRC at its meeting here and resolved that the Congress should help the Indian citizens left out in the final draft to prove their identity as Indians as many among 40 lakh left out were the indigenous Assamese. Hindu Bengalis and the residents from various Indian states. It said all those left out must get opportunity to prove their identity as the Indians.

Congress chief spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala asked BJP President Amit Shah not to falsely credit the Modi govt for the NRC that was initiated and completed 80% by the Congress government of Tarun Gogoi. Decrying Shah calling all 40 lakh left out in the register as infiltrators, Surjewala challenged him to let the government withdraw the citizenship (amendment) bill before Parliament that seeks to give nationality to the foreigners while pretending to oppose the foreigners in Assam.

He said the Congress commitment to throw out the foreigners illegally living in

Assam could be seen from as many as 82,728 persons deported between 2005 and 2013 during the Congress rule at the Centre and in the state as against just 1822 deported in the last four years. Surjewala said he was quoting the figures from the government’s own reply to a question in Parliament.

Surjewala said the NRC framework and modalities were finalised during the period the Congress was in power in both the Centre and Assam, taking into confidence all stakeholders and Rs 489 crore were sanctioned to appoint 25,800 enumerators in 2009 to identify the foreigners living illegally in the state. He said 80% of the NRC work was completed during the Tarun Gogoi government under the watch of the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, Assam Governor Jagadish Mukhi on Saturday said that every state must have an NRC which should be updated regularly as it would be effective in dealing with issues related to the country’s internal security.

Similarly, NRC state-coordinator Prateek Hajela said, “The people, who have cases pending against them in the Foreigners Tribunal, will not find a place in the final National Register of Citizens (NRC), but no genuine Indian citizens will be left out.”

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