As 40 lakh people in Assam found their names excluded from the “complete draft” of the National Register of Citizens (NRC), a political firestorm erupted Monday with the Congress and the Left Front here in the state demanding an all-party meet to discuss the matter and adoption of a unanimous proposal condemning it.
The NRC final draft was published on Monday in Assam, featuring over 2.89 crore names out of the total 3.29 crore applicants in the northeastern state.
Leader of opposition Abdul Mannan and Left Front legislature party leader Sujan Chakraborty demanded that a motion be brought in the assembly to discuss the issue. “The government is asking the people to produce birth certificates before 1970. The BJP is doing all these out of fear that they might lose the election in 2019,” Congress MLA Abdul Mannan said.
“We want a discussion in the assembly on the issue of NRC. The BJP is trying to divide the country. The basic ideology and ethos are against the culture of Bengal and Bengalis. We want a resolution to be brought in by the government and we want to discuss it in the floor of the house and want to register our protest,” Mannan added.
Echoing Mannan, Chakraborty said, “We hope the ruling party would accept our views.”
“The people in Bengal are worried. It is not clear from chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s statements whether she is trying to address these concerns. If she wants a peaceful solution, then she should hold talks with all Opposition parties and put pressure on the central government to find a solution to this issue,” CPM state secretary Surjyakanta Mishra said.
State BJP president Dilip Ghosh, however, on Monday said the NRC will be published in Bengal on the lines of the one in Assam if his party is voted to power in the state. “If we are voted to power in Bengal, we will also implement NRC. We will send back illegal citizens who have taken shelter in the state. Those who will support them will also be thrown out. We will not compromise with the security and integrity of our country,” Ghosh said. He claimed that there are about one crore illegal citizens living in the state.
“The NRC in Assam is being implemented following the orders of the court (Supreme Court). It was Congress which had proposed the idea of NRC. Now they are speaking against it,” the BJP MLA said. He also hit out at Mamata for her comments on NRC in Assam. “She must stop doing vote bank politics on every issue. Those who are inviting illegal immigrants from the neighbouring country should not talk about integrity and security of the country,” Ghosh said.
Meanwhile, the Trinamool Congress said that a team of six MPs will visit Assam on August 2 and 3.