Veteran Congress leader Tarun Gogoi on Friday asked the BJP-led central government to make it clear why the final NRC would be scrapped, when the saffron party had taken all the credit and promised to deport 40 lakh illegal immigrants after its draft was published.
Mr Gogoi, former chief minister of Assam, also alleged that Union Home Minister Amit Shah's announcement to carry out the National Register of Citizens (NRC) process across India is a tactic to divert people''s attention from the real issues of the country.
"The Centre should clarify on what basis the updated final NRC in Assam will be scrapped. When the first draft of the NRC was published, the BJP had taken all the credit and promised to detect and deport 40 lakh illegal foreigners," he told a press conference.
The part publication of draft NRC was done on the midnight of December 31, 2017, and the complete draft was published on July 30, 2018. The names of 40.07 lakh applicants did not find a place in that document. The exercise was carried out under the supervision of the Supreme Court.
The updated final NRC which validates bonafide Indian citizens of Assam was released on August 31 this year excluding names of over 19 lakh applicants in the state.
Amit Shah on Wednesday announced in the Rajya Sabha that the NRC would be updated again in the state along with the rest of the country. On the same day, senior Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said the state government has requested Shah to dismiss the NRC in its current form.
"It is just another tactic of the BJP government to divert the attention of the people from the real issues such as unemployment, economic slowdown, inflation, black money, corruption, Rafale deal and even electoral bonds which is nothing but a scam," Mr Gogoi claimed.
He said the BJP-led government has failed to work out an error-free NRC in a small state like Assam with a population of only 3 crores.
"How can the people expect that Shah will be able to prepare an NRC for entire India with a population of 130 crores?" the three-time chief minister of Assam asked.
"The NRC will become a futile exercise once the BJP enacts the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. The Assam Accord will also become null and void. So, instead of preparing a fresh NRC in Assam, they can rectify the mistakes in the final NRC," Mr Gogoi said.
Debabrata Saikia, leader of the opposition in Assam Assembly and a Congress leader, on Thursday claimed that the BJP wants a fresh NRC update without the supervision of the Supreme Court, as it wants to exclude a section of genuine Indian citizens from the religious minority community and include illegal migrants from a linguistic minority group.
Assam, which had faced an influx of people from Bangladesh since the early 20th century, is the only state having an NRC, which was first prepared in 1951.