NEW DELHI, March 1 - Former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Wednesday accused the present State Government of going slow on the process of updating the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam and took Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal to task for halting the process of detection of foreigners.
Addressing a press conference here on Wednesday, Gogoi opined that the State Government should also in consultation with the Centre announce the schedule of publication of a draft NRC. Otherwise there will be more delays, he said.
The Supreme Court should monitor the progress of the NRC updating exercise and delays should be avoided, Gogoi said.
The former Chief Minister contended that Sonowal was deliberately delaying the whole process, when bulk of the work was completed during the Congress rule itself. �We had almost reached the stage of publication of the draft NRC,� Gogoi claimed.
�The NRC is just a register and has no link with the process of detection of illegal migrants. The Sonowal Government has no action plan and the Centre and the State Government are silent on the issue,� said Gogoi, recalling claims made by the BJP ahead of the Assembly polls.
Meanwhile, Gogoi, who launched a vitriolic attack on the RSS for polluting the minds of the people of Assam, found faults with several of the BJP-led NDA Government�s actions, including the move to make Sanskrit compulsory in schools. Sometimes, Sonowal fields his cabinet colleague Himanta Biswa Sarma and sometimes Chandra Mohan Patowary. He is the general of his government and he should take the responsibilities. But he has adopted an escapist attitude,� charged Gogoi.
Referring to the latest controversy over the Ramjas College incident, Gogoi alleged that atmosphere in educational institutions, including in Assam, is being polluted by the RSS. �There should be free debates in a democracy and there is no scope for violence. The conflict-like situation created by RSS in educational institutions is a new trend,� he said.
�When in Assam the government can hold negotiations with militant groups like the ULFA, which is demanding freedom, what is the harm in debating such issues in a free atmosphere,� he said, adding that the BPF was once a militant group, but now they are part of the NDA Government in Assam.
�The All Assam Students Union (AASU) used to boycott the Republic Day and Independence Day celebrations, but we never called them anti-national,� he observed.
Referring to the controversy generated by the BBC documentary on Kaziranga National Park, the former Chief Minister said that the Assam Government should file a defamation suit against the organisation and the journalist who produced the documentary.
About the move to introduce Sanskrit as a compulsory subject, he suggested that it should instead be made optional. Some students may find it hard to cope and opt for other boards, he added.