NEW DELHI, Aug 4 - The Congress has decided to counter the BJP�s �propaganda� on the National Register of Citizens (NRC) issue by highlighting that it had earlier completed 80 per cent of the work on the citizenship document.
A Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting chaired by party president Rahul Gandhi, which was attended by all members including former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and Assam MPs Gaurav Gogoi and Sushmita Dev, had the NRC issue as its top agenda.
Later, briefing newsmen, Congress spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala said that the CWC took note of the fact that the NRC update process was started according to the Assam Accord, which was signed by former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. All of the framework agreement and modalities of the NRC were put into place and all stakeholders were included by the Congress.
The entire update process was started by the then Congress Government. It was aimed at ensuring that all foreigners who were staying illegally were to be identified, Surjewala said.
In 2009, the UPA Government led by Dr Manmohan Singh sanctioned a sum of Rs 489 crore for appointment of 25,000 enumerators. In May 2016, 80 per cent work on the NRC update process was completed by the then Tarun Gogoi Government in Assam. In August 2014, the Supreme Court started monitoring the NRC process, he noted.
The Congress party is committed to the NRC and its framework agreement under which it is being prepared, the Congress spokesman asserted.
The final draft list has left out 40 lakh people from the NRC who include indigenous people, Hindu Bengalis, tea tribes, Nepalis, religious minorities and people from other States, settled in Assam. All Indian citizens should be given adequate opportunities to establish their cases, he said.
The Congress will help all who have not been able to make it to the NRC list. The CWC has also taken note that the BJP is using the entire NRC update process to create social tension. The reason is to cover the failures of the Modi Government on all fronts, Surjewala alleged.
The Congress will not allow the Modi Government�s conspiracy to succeed, he said.
Challenging BJP national president Amit Shah on the deportation of foreigners, Surjewala pointed out that UPA Government deported 82,728 Bangladeshi nationals between 2005 and 2013 as against a mere 1,822 deported by the Modi Government. Surjewala said Shah should now apologise to the nation for misleading the country purely for garnering votes.
The Congress spokesman also accused the BJP Government of duplicity, deception and doublespeak. He dared the Prime Minister and the BJP president to clarify their stand on the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016.
Surjewala said that the Prime Minister, the BJP president and Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal should answer whether they support the NRC update process or the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016 as both are directly in conflict with each other. The NRC update will fail once citizenship is given to everyone as per the Citizenship Amendment Bill, he pointed out.