NEW DELHI, Aug 1 - The issue of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) rocked the Rajya Sabha for the third consecutive day on Wednesday, with an agitated Opposition led by the Trinamool Congress stalling the proceedings of the House.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh made two separate attempts to make a statement in the Upper House today, but he managed to just lay down the statement in the House. The Opposition stood its ground and demanded a statement by the Prime Minister on the NRC. A visibly upset Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu adjourned the House for the day later in the afternoon.
While Trinamool Congress MPs rushed to the Well of the House, Congress members protested from their seats. Bhubaneswar Kalita, who wanted to speak on the issue, was snubbed by the Chairman, who remarked that he should take his complaint to the leader of the party, who did not allow him to speak on the issue. �You have developed a sudden love for Assam, but your party did not give you a chance,� Naidu told Kalita.
Later, during a Cabinet briefing, Union Law and Justice Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that a new low was set in the Parliament when the Opposition did not allow their national president, Amit Shah, to speak in the Rajya Sabha.
Meanwhile, in the Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Choudhury of the Congress (West Bengal), raising the issue in the Zero Hour, alleged that the BJP�s policy was unclear. The Union Home Minister has said that adequate security forces have been deployed, but there is still uncertainty.
Joining him, Sushmita Dev said that there was tension along the Assam-Meghalaya-Nagaland border. She alleged that buses from Silchar were stopped in Meghalaya and passengers were asked to produce citizenship certificate. �People travelling from Assam to Meghalaya should be given protection,� she demanded.
Meanwhile, the Congress party�s curious stand on the NRC has left a section of its leaders fuming. The party, which has been speaking in different voices, has left some leaders upset and a couple of them on Tuesday met party president Rahul Gandhi to register their protest. Sources said that it was explained to Gandhi that the Congress�s original stand based on the Assam Accord has been swept under the carpet. It was stressed that the Congress�s stand should have been that those who came before 1971 should be accepted and those who came after the cut-off date should be treated as foreigners pending proper verification.
While he was questioning the NRC process, former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi took to Twitter to claim that he was the brain behind the NRC. �The NRC is my brainchild. There was no such demand in the State, there was nothing even in the Assam Accord about the setting up of the NRC. During the Congress regime, there were objections that multiple illegitimate people were given the right to vote, that is why the NRC was set up,� Gogoi said.
President of Assam Pradesh Congress Committee and Rajya Sabha member Ripun Bora claimed that there was discrepancy in the scrutiny process. �The Congress party will not sit silent,� he said.
Yesterday, Bora adopted a softer tone and distanced the Congress party from the Trinamool Congress. He alleged that BJP president Amit Shah has been misleading the public. The Congress had done 80 per cent of the NRC works, while the BJP completed only 20 per cent of the exercise.
Meanwhile, Union Minister Kiren Rijiju tweeted today: �Rahul Gandhi says that NRC is Congress baby and its implementation has been tardy under BJP Government, which means it should be carried out more rigorously. But on the floor of the House his Congress Party opposes NRC process. What does Congress Party want.�