Agartala: The NRC and the CAB would destabilise the multi-ethnic, mixed-religion and multilingual society existing for decades in northeast India, said senior AICC leaders who are now touring the region to gather opinions of people and party leaders on the National Register of Citizens and Citizenship Amendment Bill.
The All India Congress Committee delegation led by former Union minister and Rajya Sabha member Jairam Ramesh and AICC General Secretary and former minister Mukul Wasnik after visiting Manipur and Meghalaya arrived here earlier on Tuesday and held a series of meetings in Agartala with party leaders, workers, civil societies and intellectuals.
The six-member AICC delegation would leave here for Guwahati on Wednesday.
“The BJP-led government at the Centre has been trying to divide, polarise and destabilise the integrated northeast society by introducing the CAB and the NRC. The Congress in association with the likeminded parties both inside and outside parliament would fight tooth and nail both against the CAB and the NRC,” Ramesh told the media.
He said: “The proposed amendment of the citizenship act is against the preamble of the Indian constitution and grossly violates Article 14 and Article 21 of the Constitution. The CAB is anti-secular and anti-constitutional.”
The CAB seeks to fast-track Indian citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Parsis, Christians and Jains from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan who entered India till December 31, 2014. Ramesh said that the government is yet to issue the statutory order to those 1.9 million people, who are excluded in the final list of NRC published on August 31.
“The Congress wants to identify the foreign nationals illegally staying in India, but the system of introduction and management of NRC are grossly faulty. The Congress and other parties in association with the people are on a second independence day struggle against the misgovernance of Bharatiya Janata Party-led government.”
Criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Congress leader said that Modi was misguiding the nation even as the Sardar Patel himself was the author of Article 370 which was revoked from Jammu and Kashmir in August.
The AICC team after visiting the northeast region would submit a report to the party President Sonia Gandhi.
In Assam, the NRC exercise was initiated as part of the 1985 peace accord with the All Assam Students Union by the previous Congress government under the then Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi in 2010 as a pilot project in Barpeta and Kamrup Rural districts.
The stalled NRC exercise was resumed in 2013 to identify the foreigners. The Supreme Court monitored final list of NRC was published on August 31. Of Assam’s 33 million residents who were asked to prove their Indian citizenship, names of about 1.9 million were excluded. These names will now be referred to 300 Foreigners’ Tribunals, constituted by the Assam government.
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