Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday assured the people of Assam that no genuine citizen will be left out of the NRC and said the citizenship bill will soon be passed in Parliament to make amends for past injustices.
Flagging off BJP's Lok Sabha poll campaign in the Northeast, he told the Vijay Sankalp Rally at Kalinagar near here that he is aware of the problems, concerns and difficulties faced by many during the NRC process.
"I assure you no injustice will be done to any genuine Indian citizen... A problem hanging for decades is reaching its conclusion and this has been possible due to your sacrifices. Continuous effort is being made to ensure that all people are heard and they face least difficulty in the process," he said.
The government in a bid to simplify the entire NRC process had made a special appeal before the Supreme Court to accept the relief eligibility certificate and other related government documents.
"I am happy the Supreme Court has accepted the government's appeal and this has benefitted lakhs of people in making their claims," Modi said.
On the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, he said the BJP-led NDA government is moving ahead with it.
"It (the bill) is linked to emotions and related to peoples' lives. It is not for the benefit of anyone but a penance for the injustices done in the past," he said.
He continued, "Where will a persecuted person anywhere in the world having faith in Mother India go? Does the colour of the passport matter only and not any blood relation? The country was partitioned, people believed in those who divided it and some stayed back for the love of their land and home but their hopes and aspirations were crushed.
"Will Mother India not embrace them under such circumstances? Will their cries not be heard? Mistakes may have been made in the past during Partition - I do not want to dwell on those but penance for past injustice is necessary," he said.
The Citizenshp Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955. It seeks to grant citizenship to people from minority communities - Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh after six years of residence in India instead of 12 even if they do not possess any proper document.
It has been opposed by a large section of people and organisations in the Northeast saying it will nullify the provisions of the Assam Accord which had fixed March 24, 1971 as the cut off date for deportation of all illegal immigrants irrespective of religion.
Modi said the bill was brought in 2016 after deep thinking and long discussions. "I hope that the bill will be passed as soon as possible in Parliament. There is immense responsibility on those having faith in Mother India to keep in mind the interest of all concerned".
"Now the road is clear to safeguard social, cultural and linguistic identity of people Assam", he said adding that a high-level committee will talk to the stakeholders and prepare a road map for implementing the clause.
The clause aims to provide constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards to preserve and promote the cultural, social, linguistic identity and heritage of the Assamese people.
Hitting out at the Congress, he said some political parties did nothing for the people of Assam and the country despite ruling for long years and treated them only as their vote banks.
"Our government has put a halt on corruption, installed honesty and removed middlemen... The Congress government had made dalals (brokers) a part of all deals," he said.
"Should the nation's looted money not come back, should they not be punished, should Modi not ensure this? ... Is this not the responsibility of the chowkidar? ... Some people are disturbed by the chowkidar and so they have resorted to raving and ranting (aanap-shanap)," he said.
Modi said after NDA government came to power for the second time in 2014, all stalled infrastructure projects were expedited and are being completed during the last four and half years.
Referring to his visit to inaugurate the rail-cum-road bridge at Bogibeel in the state in December, he said, "I am fortunate to be with the people of Assam for the second time in 10 days. The Barak and Brahmaputra are a source of inspiration not only for the state but also for the country.
"I am indebted to the people of Assam for voting for the BJP in the just concluded panchayat elections and I am committed to repay this debt by ensuring the development of the state," he said.
Modi arrived at Silchar in Cachar district from Imphal as a part of his first phase of poll campaign, wherein he is scheduled to address rallies in 20 states in 100 days before the model code of conduct comes into force.