NEW DELHI: Amid opposition uproar over the publication of the National Register of Citizens in Assam, Home Minister Rajnath Singh today asked parties opposing it not to politicise the “sensitive” issue.
The minister told the Lok Sabha that the list has been published on the directives of the Supreme Court and the Centre has no role in it.
The opposition TMC, Congress, CPI(M) and SP criticised the government over the publication of the list, saying it puts “human rights and democratic rights” of people at stake.
Over 40 lakh people in Assam have been left out from the NRC, which is being prepared to identify illegal migrants in Assam.
The second draft of the NRC was published today in Guwahati.
Singh said the NRC was being demanded in Assam for a long time and the previous state government had set up foreign tribunals following the Supreme Court order.
“In publishing NRC, the government has done nothing. Everything is being done as per Supreme Court order. The allegation of the opposition against the government is baseless,” Singh said.
He appealed to opposition members not to create “panic” since it is a “sensitive issue”.
“The government is not doing anything. Whatever is happening is under the supervision of the Supreme Court,” Singh said.
Singh said the NRC list published today is not the final list and applicants will have the option of raising claims and objections.
“People who feel their name should have been part of the NRC can file claims and objections.In how much time those claims and objections would be disposed off that will be decided by the Supreme Court,” Singh said.
Asking the opposition to list out what role the government has played in the NRC, Singh said, “It is a sensitive issue and should not be politicised unnecessarily”.
Unsatisfied with the Minister’s response, an unrelenting opposition staged a walkout from the House.
Out of 3.29 crore applicants for the NRC, 2.89 crore have been found eligible for inclusion in the complete draft of NRC, that was released in Guwahati this morning.
This means that the names of 40.07 lakh have been left out.
The Trinamool Congress had moved an adjournment motion in the Lok Sabha on the NRC issue, which was not taken up by Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.
Asking where the 40 lakh people will go, Sudip Bandyopadhyay (TMC) asked the Centre to ensure that justice should not be denied to the people who have been living in Assam for decades now.
“It is inhuman and is a torture on people. I request the Centre that amendments be moved so that these 40 lakh people get to stay in Assam,” he said.
Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said “original citizens” of the state are being asked questions and this is creating division in the state based on caste and creed.
Mohd Saleem (CPIM) said the situation in Assam is fragile and “human rights and democratic rights” of the people of the state are at stake.
Jaiprakash Narayan Yadav (SP) said the move would lead to “hatred” and “violence” in Assam and dubbed it as a “war on people” who are living in the state for the last 40 years.
The first draft NRC, a list of state’s citizens, for Assam was published in December end last year as per the apex court’s order where names of 1.9 crore people out of the 3.29 crore applicants were incorporated.
Assam, which has witnessed an influx of people from Bangladesh since the early 20th century, is the only state having an NRC, which was first prepared in 1951.