Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Wednesday said that the National Register of Citizens (NRC) was Congress’s brainchild but it was now being used by the BJP to polarise society and that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill was against the Constitutional principles of the country.
Ramesh, while addressing a press conference in Guwahati after a six-member Congress delegation held meetings with party workers and leaders regarding critical issues facing the Northeast, said that in Assam, the NRC was “needed” and has a “historical legacy”. The final NRC was published on August 31, which excluded 19 lakh applicants.
“What the NRC tells us is the complete hollowness and bogusness of BJP’s propaganda. Nineteen lakh people have been identified through the process, monitored by the SC. The hollowness of BJP’s propaganda is demonstrated by the fact that Amit Shah is not talking of NRC in Assam but is talking about NRC in West Bengal, Jharkhand and Karnataka. Because the BJP’s lie has been exposed by the Supreme Court-monitored NRC. The NRC is a Congress creation. We believe it was needed for historical reasons peculiar to Assam,” Ramesh said.
“When Amit Shah talks about NRC… he is using it as a political instrument to divide and polarise society. Both NRC and the CAB are instruments for polarising society on religious lines which goes against the very basis of our Constitution,” he added.
Ramesh further said that Congress was the “original architect” for the use of the NRC as an instrument for identifying bonafide Indian citizens. He said, “But the way the NRC is being used by Amit Shah and Narendra Modi is to spread poison, divide society; the language the Home Minister of India is using; He has used the word ‘termites’.”
On the CAB, Ramesh said, “The overwhelming view of the Congress in Assam is against the CAB. It is being opposed by the party because it is anti-secular. It goes against the preamble of the Indian Constitution. Two, it violates Article 14 and Article 21 of the Indian Constitution. The Congress is opposing it, not on political grounds, but on principle.”