GUWAHATI, Dec 5 - Leader of the Opposition in the Assam Legislative Assembly Debabrata Saikia has welcomed the Supreme Court�s judgement today upholding the validity of panchayat certificates as supplementary documents for family linkage purposes while preparing the National Register of Citizens (NRC).
Pointing out that both the Centre and the State government had refrained from opposing the Gauhati High Court�s previous decision to reject panchayat certificates as valid documents, Saikia said that the apex court �has now exposed the duplicity practised by Narendra Modi, Sarbananda Sonowal and the BJP as a whole.�
�Both Modi and Sonowal keep talking about women�s dignity and empowerment, but they remained mute spectators when the fate of 29 lakh married women of Assam hung in balance. We are thankful to the Supreme Court for protecting the honour and future of these persecuted women from the evil designs of the BJP,� Saikia said.
He added, �It appeared that the Central and State governments had deliberately ignored the fact that panchayat certificates were meant for establishing linkage from the parental home to the marital home.�
Saikia also hailed the Supreme Court�s ruling that the NRC is being prepared to distinguish between citizens and non-citizens and it has no relevance with the issue of �Original Inhabitants� (OI).
Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) president Ripun Bora also welcomed the apex court�s judgement and termed it a �bold decision�. He said that today�s verdict would have a long-term impact.
Bora said the Congress party has always opposed any attempts to politicise the process of updating the NRC or to give it a religious or communal colour.
�We have always said that we want an error-free NRC which will help bring about a permanent solution to the foreigners� issue,� he said.
Bora said that the BJP-led governments at the Centre and State tried to delay the NRC update process using various tactics.
The All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) has also welcomed the Supreme Court�s judgement regarding validity of panchayat certificates for NRC and on the issue of �Original Inhabitants�.
Addressing the media here today, AIUDF president and Lok Sabha MP Badruddin Ajmal said that justice has been delivered by the apex court.
�We always had faith in the Judiciary. Justice has been done to lakhs of women who had submitted panchayat certificates as link document for NRC. The issue was not one affecting women of one particular denomination but of all castes and creeds,� he said.
Ajmal said that his party had always said that 1971 should be the basis for NRC. �We have got justice. People of the State have got justice,� he said.