Kolkata, Dec 17 (IANS) Former Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Monday said that he would be returning to power in the state by winning the next assembly elections and will ensure that none of the “genuine Indian citizens” are left out from the National Register of Citizens. (NRC)
Accusing the BJP government in Assam of “improper implementation” and politicisation of the NRC, the veteran Congress leader said the saffron outfit is depriving several Indian citizens of their citizenship rights.
“I will come back to power in Assam in the next assembly elections and we will make sure that, according to the Assam accord, the names of all genuine Indians are listed in the NRC. We will implement the NRC in a proper way,” Gogoi told reporters here on the sidelines of a panel discussion on ‘NRC, Genocide and Suicide of present time in Assam’.
“BJP is playing the division card in the name of implementing NRC. Be it between the Hindus and Muslims, the Assamese and Bengalis…they are indulging in divisive politics. Today they are in power. The BJP-government in Assam is depriving genuine Indian citizens of citizenship,” he alleged.
Gogoi also said those who have had their names listed in the voters list for the 2014 general elections, should be included in the citizens’ list, as voting right is a proof of one’s citizenship in this country.
“If someone’s name is in the voters list he/she should be included in the NRC. Having someone’s name in the voters list proves that he is an Indian citizen. The Election Commission is a constitutional body while the NRC is not. So you tell me which is more important?
“Earlier, I had submitted an affidavit in the Supreme Court that the 2014 voter list in Assam should be taken into account while preparing the NRC. How can you question somebody’s citizenship when that person already has a voter card?” he asked.
Accusing the BJP of trying to give the NRC in Assam a communal angle by creating a division between Hindus and Muslims, Gogoi said the exercise was originally aimed at identifying non-Indians.
The leader also said that Assam has been more tolerant towards the refugees than Bengal and claimed that the natives of Assam have no issues with the Bengalis staying there.
“Bengalis are living in peace in Assam. There are two languages in Assam – Assamese and Bengali. The Bengalis living there can study their mother tongue. The Assamese language is not imposed on anybody,” he added.