Assam NRC draft: Opposition parties target govt in Parliament, cite ‘human rights’https://indianexpress.com/article/north-east-india/assam/assam-nrc-draft-opposition-parties-target-govt-in-parliament-cite-human-rights-rajnath-singh-5283812/

Assam NRC draft: Opposition parties target govt in Parliament, cite ‘human rights’

Home Minister Rajnath Singh was in the Rajya Sabha in the morning. Naidu said he was ready for a discussion and wanted Singh to respond. But the members were of the view that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should make a statement in the House.

Rajnath Singh, Assam NRC list, Assam NRC draft, Rajnath singh on Assam NRC draft, Sarbananda sonowal, Assam citizens, India news, indian express
Home Minister Rajnath Singh outside Parliament. (Express photo/Renuka Puri)

THE EXCLUSION of over 40 lakh people from the “complete draft” of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam saw an uproar in Parliament on Monday.

The Rajya Sabha witnessed multiple adjournments and could not transact any business after Opposition parties, led by the Trinamool Congress, tried to raise the issue. The issue figured in the Lok Sabha too, where Home Minister Rajnath Singh asserted that the Centre has no role in the preparation of the draft, and it was done on the Supreme Court’s directive.

The Rajya Sabha functioned for all of 14 minutes, as members demanded a discussion on the NRC. Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu adjourned the House four times — at 11.11 am, 12 noon, 2.01 pm and 2.13 pm. The adjournments in the afternoon happened even before members had taken their seats.

TMC members said they had given a notice for taking up a discussion on the matter. Samajwadi Party members and some Congress members also tried to raise the issue.

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READ | Assam citizenship list: Names missing in NRC final draft, 40 lakh ask what next 

Home Minister Rajnath Singh was in the Rajya Sabha in the morning. Naidu said he was ready for a discussion and wanted Singh to respond. But the members were of the view that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should make a statement in the House.

When the House reconvened at 2 pm, TMC leader Derek O’Brien said the House should discuss the matter as it was a “humanitarian issue”.

Assam NRC Final Draft List Live Updates: The first draft was published on December 31, 2017, and the names of 1.9 crore of the 3.29 crore applicants were incorporated. (PTI)
Assam NRC Final Draft List: The first draft was published on December 31, 2017, and the names of 1.9 crore of the 3.29 crore applicants were incorporated. (PTI)

“I have given notice under Rule 267. It is not a political issue. It is a question of human rights. It is a humanitarian issue. It is a national issue. We need to look after Indian citizens. Please allow me to raise this issue,” he said.

Naidu said he would allow the issue to be raised on Tuesday.

READ | Those out of Assam NRC draft likely to have three months to file claims

“I myself took the initiative and called the Home Minister. The Home Minister came to the House but the members were neither willing to say anything, nor allow the House to function,” he said. “We could not utilise that opportunity. I assure you, I will give the first opportunity tomorrow morning, in the beginning of the session itself.”

However, O’Brien was unrelenting and, with other TMC members joining him in raising the issue, forced Naidu to adjourn the House for the day.

In the Lok Sabha, the TMC, Congress, CPI(M) and SP criticised the Centre over the publication of the list, saying it puts “human rights and democratic rights” of people at stake.

The TMC had moved an adjournment motion in the

Lok Sabha, which was not taken up by Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.

Asking where the 40 lakh people would go, TMC leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay told the Centre to ensure that justice is not denied to those who have been living in Assam for decades now.

Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said the state’s “original citizens” were being asked questions, and this was creating a division in the state, based on caste and creed.

CPI(M) leader Mohd Saleem said the situation in Assam was fragile, and “human rights and democratic rights” of the people of the state was at stake.

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SP leader Jaiprakash Narayan Yadav said the move would lead to “hatred” and “violence” in Assam, and dubbed it as a “war on people” who have been living in the state for the last 40 years.

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