GUWAHATI, Aug 4 - Opposition leader Debabrata Saikia today slammed the BJP for making �desperate bids� to show the Congress in poor light over the NRC update issue.
�Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has acknowledged on the floor of the Rajya Sabha that late Rajiv Gandhi paved the way and Dr Manmohan Singh did the bulk of the work for the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam. Now, the BJP is applying dirty tricks for hoodwinking people over the issue,� he said in a statement.
Saikia said in its desperate bid to put a question mark on the Congress� positive role in smoothening the path for detection of illegal migrants in Assam by updating the NRC of 1951, some �specialists in misinformation has publicised a dubious WikiLeaks cable of 2006 which quoted an anonymous Kolkata-based US Consulate officer as having reported that Sonia Gandhi had assured minorities at an election rally in Assam in May 2006 that the Congress would amend the Foreigners� Act to prevent deportation of illegal Bangladeshi immigrants.�
Saikia claimed that there was no election rally in Assam in May 2006.
�The Assembly elections had concluded in April 2006 and the results were declared on May 11, 2006. So, there is no question of Sonia Gandhi or any other leader for that matter, addressing an election rally in Assam in May 2006,� he asserted.
Saikia said Sonia Gandhi did address an election rally at Nehru Bali in Nagaon on April 6. �It is also a fact that she did talk about changes being affected by the UPA government in the Foreigners (Tribunals) Order, 1964. However, she specifically stressed that the motive behind the changes was to ensure prevention of harassment of minorities as suspected foreigners,� he added.
Saikia said The Assam Tribune newspaper, �which is not known to take sides�, had reported Sonia Gandhi�s rally under the headline �Cong against influx of foreigners: Sonia�.
�In its issue dated April 7, 2006, The Assam Tribune quoted Gandhi as having said: �We don�t support infiltration of foreigners. Government is formed by the will of the people and our government will care for the interest of the people.�
�Yet, this categorical statement is now being hushed up and a mangled version is being publicised in order to defame the Congress,� Saikia added.