GUWAHATI, Aug 1 - Hailing BJP president Amit Shah�s statement on Tuesday that the NRC is the soul of the Assam Accord, former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today called upon the saffron party to clarify its stand on the issue of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.
�I am happy to know that BJP president Amit Shah had admitted that the NRC is the soul of the Assam Accord which was initiated by former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi to identify and deport foreigners entering Assam after March 24, 1971. If it is so, will Shah advise his NDA government to withdraw the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016, which seeks to provide citizenship to Hindu refugees of Bangladesh coming to India on or before December 31, 2014, and make their stand clear,� Gogoi stated in a tweet.
His reaction came a day after the BJP chief had stated in New Delhi that the NRC is the soul of the Assam Accord and had asked opposition parties to take a clear stand on the document.
The former Chief Minister had in recent times accused BJP leaders of speaking in divergent voices and trying to sow confusion in minds of the people with regard to the NRC and Citizenship Bill issues.
Gogoi had time and again stated that the Citizenship Bill, if passed, would violate the Assam Accord.
On being contacted, State BJP general secretary and spokesperson Rupam Goswami accused the Congress party of joining hands with forces inimical to the NRC update process.
�It was pathetic to see somebody of the stature of Mallikarjun Kharge, who is the Leader of the Congress party in the Lok Sabha, supporting the stand of Mamata Banerjee�s Trinamool Congress and stating that the NRC process will lead to division in society. Congress is a party which speaks in two voices. While it supports the Citizenship Bill in Barak Valley, it pretends to oppose it in the Brahmaputra Valley. Congress� politics is only for the sake of votes and not for benefit of the country and its citizens,� said Goswami.
The BJP leader termed the ongoing NRC process as a �surgical strike on illegal immigrants�.
�It is our BJP government which executed the NRC properly and carried it to this stage. And yet, our Chief Minister has never claimed credit. In fact, Sarbananda Sonowal has stated clearly that the credit for the NRC goes to the people of Assam. On the other hand, we have somebody like Tarun Gogoi who could not even complete the NRC process and is yet now claiming credit for it,� Goswami said.
He added, �Rajiv Gandhi signed the Assam Accord. And our party president has given him due recognition. We are not a party which shies away from admitting the truth. And it is also true that the BJP is the only party which supported the Assam Agitation at a time when the Congress, Left and others had opposed it. And it is the BJP which is the only party committed to expelling all foreigners from Assam.�
The BJP leader said that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is making controversial remarks regarding the NRC for the sake of vote bank.
�Mamata is fast losing ground in West Bengal and BJP is growing stronger day-by-day in the State. So she is trying to rake up controversies,� Goswami said.