GUWAHATI, Sept 5 - Leader of the Opposition in the Assam Legislative Assembly Debabrata Saikia said while the Congress has pointed out certain deficiencies in the final NRC, which was published recently, �there is no question� of the principal opposition party rejecting the register �out of hand�.
He said publication of the final NRC has elicited various reactions from political parties and leaders.
�One significant aspect is that on the eve of the publication of the NRC, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal termed it a historic document, whereas his colleagues such as Himanta Biswa Sarma and Ranjeet Kumar Dass have rejected it as a useless document. As Leader of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP), I wish to make it clear that although the Congress party has pointed out certain deficiencies in the final NRC, we believe that the NRC marks an important preliminary step towards ridding Assam of illegal migrants,� Saikia said.
He added the 19,06,659 people omitted from the NRC include numerous bona fide Indian citizens such as members of the tea community, Gorkhas and various tribes and ethnic groups of Assam.
�In many cases, some members of a specific family have been left out of the NRC despite using the same legacy data as relatives who have been included in the document. In fact, among others, incumbent MLAs and relatives of well-known freedom fighters have been excluded from the NRC. Nevertheless, these anomalies can be rectified in the coming days provided the government, the NRC authority and the Foreigners Tribunals (FTs) all work impartially with a common purpose,� the Leader of the Opposition said.
Saikia said the All India Congress Committee (AICC) had met in New Delhi on the very day the final NRC was published and it had resolved to extend legal and other assistance to safeguard the rights of genuine Indian citizens who have been excluded from the document.
�The Congress party has pointed out anomalies in the document but it has not summarily rejected the NRC. Congress had intervened more than once in the Supreme Court during the NRC update process when the genuine Indian citizens faced harassment. Indeed, it was the Congress-led governments at the Centre and in the State which had initiated the NRC update process in 2005 after tripartite discussions involving the AASU. Although the Congress-led governments could not complete the NRC update process due to a variety of factors, there is no question of the Congress rejecting the NRC out of hand,� Saikia said.
�On the contrary, Congress is determined to utilise legitimate means on offer to ensure that genuine Indian citizens obtain justice and are included in the NRC,� he added.