July 30, 2018
New Delhi: The first complete draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam, released on Monday, rocked the Parliament with the Rajya Sabha witnessing pandemonium over the issue leading to several adjournments while in Lok Sabha, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that there was no need to panic as it was not the final list.
Rajnath Singh, who could not speak in Rajya Sabha due to ruckus created by Trinamool Congress members, said in Lok Sabha, after the opposition parties including Trinamool and Congress raised their concerns over the NRC in which 40 lakh residents of the state were left out, that the opposition should not politicise it.
He assured that people whose names are not included in the final draft will get the opportunity to prove their citizenship.
“Whatever work is going on in the NRC, is happening under the supervision of the Supreme Court. To say that the government has done it, and it is inhuman and brutal…such allegations are baseless.
“It is not the right thing to say,” Rajnath Singh told the Lok Sabha during Zero Hour.
In a statement released later, Rajnath Singh said he wanted to “emphatically say that this is only a draft and not the final NRC”.
The final draft comprising the names of 2, 89, 83,677 people of Assam was published online by the Registrar General of India.
The Home Minister also said that there is “no question of any coercive action against anyone”, while stressing the NRC process is “being carried out with complete fairness and transparency”.
Urging not to create panic, he also said that if anyone was not satisfied with the NRC’s final draft, that person would get an opportunity to file claims and objections as per provisions in the law and also approach the Foreigners’ Tribunal.
Only after the disposal of claims and objections, will the final NRC be published, he said.
“Some people are unnecessarily trying to create an atmosphere of fear. I want to assure all that there is no need for any apprehension or fear. Some misinformation is also being spread…,” he added.
The first list of the NRC process was released in December 31 last year, in which around 1.9 crore people out of the total applications of 3.29 crore people were included.
The minister appealed to the opposition to extend support on this “very sensitive issue”.
“Don’t level baseless allegations. Such sensitive issues should not be unnecessarily politicised,” he added.
Raising the issue, Trinamool’s Sudip Bandyopadhyay dubbed the NRC as inhuman and asked where will these 40 lakh people, whose names have not figured in the final draft, go.
Supporting him, leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge said: “I would demand a separate discussion on the issue and an amendment should be brought on this. This is an issue related to citizenship of 40 lakh people, whose names have been deliberately purposely.”
“They are trying to create a division in the society by doing this,” he added.
The Rajya Sabha on Monday witnessed three adjournments before adjourning for the day amid pandemonium.
Soon after the House met in the post lunch sitting, the opposition members again raised the issue of NRC. Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu adjourned the House for 10 minutes to meet at 2.11 p.m.
But, as soon as the House was reconvened, the opposition MPs were again on their feet. Naidu then adjourned the House for the day.
The Upper House earlier saw two adjournments in the morning over the issue.
Trinamool’s Derek O’Brien wanted to raise the issue but could not speak as the ruckus continued. The Congress and other opposition members also supported them.
Naidu asked the agitating members to go back to their seats as he was ready for discussion on the issue, but the Trinamool members did not relent even as Rajnath Singh was present.
Amid the din, O’Brian and other Trinamool members were heard saying that the NRC is “inhuman” and sought a response from Prime Minister on the issue.
Some of them said that their party has given notice for adjournment motion over the issue but Naidu said that he has not received any notice. (IANS)