Opposition sceptical of government assurances on Assam NRC

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New Delhi, Aug 3 (IANS) Opposition leaders in the Rajya Sabha cutting across party lines on Friday expressed scepticism over the assurances given by Home Minister Rajnath Singh on the NRC updation process in Assam.

Rajnath Singh had assured that the entire NRC process was transparent and the left out people from the final draft, published on July 30, were being provided a fair chance to prove their credentials.

After the Home Minister had given his statement, Leader of Opposition in the upper House Ghulam Nabi Azad demanded to know as to how could so many people be left out of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) if there was no discrimination.

“The Home Minister has said the process is entirely fair and objective. If that is so, how come persons like a former Indian Air Force personnel be left out. If the entire process has been fair, what is left to be done then,” Azad asked.

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Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Derek O’Brien questioned the “dichotomy” over the statements made by the Union Home Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Chief Amit Shah.

“This is classic double-speak. What is the real voice of the government? What Home Minister says here or what BJP President says outside?” O’Brien said.

“What the Home Minister said just now in the House that communal disharmony is being spread. Yes Sir, it is being spread. But I want to ask the Home Minister, who is spreading disharmony?” the TMC leader said.

Samajwadi Party leader Javed Ali Khan, too, asked how could people like former legislators and the family of former President of India Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed be left out of the NRC in Assam.

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Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MP Majeed Memon demanded from the Home Minister as to what would happen to those who would be left out even after the revision of the list.

Congress MP from Assam Ripun Bora argued that the guidelines for inclusion in the NRC should be “modified and simplified” and the last date — September 27 — for submission of claims needs to be extended.

Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) member T.K. Rangarajan too asked for extension of the deadline so that people get sufficient opportunity.

Members also expressed concern at the way some people and the media were already labelling the 40 lakh left out people as “infiltrators”.

–IANS

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