Congress Claim On Faulty NRC Draft Vindicated By Supreme Court: Tarun Gogoi
Tarn Gogoi also accused the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) of 'double standards'.
Guwahati: The Congress’ claim on “faulty” NRC draft of Assam has been vindicated by the Supreme Court rebuking the registrar general of India and NRC state coordinator and directing them to concentrate on preparing an error-free citizen’s register, party leader Tarun Gogoi said on Thursday.
Alleging that the officials were under pressure from the RSS and BJP, Gogoi claimed that the apex court had doubts about the integrity of the NRC authorities.
The former chief minister of Assam also accused the BJP of giving importance to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, and not to the National Register of Citizens (NRC).
“We have been saying that the draft NRC is full of errors and the Supreme Court’s directive to the officials that they have the responsibility to prepare a correct NRC, proves our claim,” he told reporters here.
The apex court has reminded the two officials of their “duty and responsibility” of preparing a correct NRC as defined by it on the basis of the Assam Accord, Gogoi said.
“The exclusion of 40 lakh people in the draft NRC is a matter of serious concern and the authorities must ensure that genuine citizens of the country are not left out,” he said.
The Congress leader also criticised Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal for being “silent” on the issue and claimed that the latter has not clarified on what action would be taken to include the names of genuine Indian citizens and detect the foreigners.
Sonowal has also not asked for the withdrawal of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 despite widespread protests, he said and accused the BJP of giving importance to the Bill and not NRC.
“BJP president Amit Shah speaks about NRC being the ‘soul of Assam Accord’, but does not say anything about withdrawing the Bill. If the Bill is not withdrawn, the entire NRC list will go waste. The whole exercise will be a waste of money, energy and resources,” Gogoi said.
The former chief minister also accused the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) of “double standards” as he said although the outfit was demanding the withdrawal of the Bill, it was continuing its alliance with the BJP to remain in power in the state.
Both BJP and AGP are not interested in publishing the NRC as they want to keep the foreigners’ issue alive to divert attention from their failures, he alleged.
“I thank the Supreme Court for fixing the dates for the publication of the draft NRC or else it would not have been published,” he said.
Gogoi claimed that it was he who had taken the initiative to begin the work of compiling the NRC and the application process was completed during the Congress rule in the state.
Asked about West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s reaction to the NRC issue, the Congress leader said she had no right to interfere in Assam’s matters.
“But at the same time, the Trinamool Congress delegation should not have been denied entry. The Trinamool Congress (TMC) delegates had the right to come and clear their doubts though they cannot create tension in the state,” he added.