GUWAHATI, July 19 � Quoting the minutes of the talks held at the Prime Minister level on National Register of Citizens (NRC) update, the All Assam Students� Union (AASU) asserted that the Assam Government cannot take whimsical decisions on the NRC update without involving it.
The AASU further stated that the Government is committed to make the students� body a party vis-�-vis NRC update as was decided at the tripartite talks involving Centre, State and the students� body in 2005, followed by another meeting at the Home Secretary level in 2010.
This comes a day after Assam Accord Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma told the Assembly that henceforth the Government would cease to involve any non-political organization including AASU in the process of NRC update.
At a press conference held today, AASU adviser Dr Samujjal Bhattacharya said, �The statement by the Minister reflects his sheer ignorance about the issue. It is also an attempt to politicize the issue, which would never be tolerated.�
�As per the tripartite talks, no one, be it the Centre, State or the AASU, can take any decision on its own on NRC update. It has to be after taking consent from all the three parties,� he said.
�AASU took up the issue when no political party felt the need to safeguard the cause of the indigenous people. The students� body has been voicing concern relentlessly as a part of Assam Accord implementation. At no cost would the issue of NRC update be allowed to be politicized or communalized,� he pointed out.
Dr Bhattacharya, while referring to a gazette notification published on June 1, 2010, said that the notification by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs had clearly mentioned certain specific points, which the State Government cannot withdraw on its own.
These include necessitating the provision of divulging the birth place in the application form for the NRC update.
�In the tripartite meeting held at the Prime Minister level, the Chief Minister, besides the then Revenue Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma (Now Assam Accord Minister) was also present. How can he undermine the decisions taken on the Prime Minister and the Home Minister level?� Dr Bhattacharya questioned.
Asked whether it was a part of greater conspiracy to woo certain vote banks, the AASU adviser refrained from giving a clear answer, although he said: �All the political parties including the Congress tend to play vote bank politics but we warn them against such attitude on the issue of NRC update.�
�The Home Ministry is the nodal agency of the tripartite talks and we would also apprise them on the issue,� Dr Bhattacharya added.
AASU president Sankar Prasad Rai and general secretary Tapan Kumar Gogoi were also present on the occasion.