Amidst an ongoing controversy over the National Register of Citizens (NRC), former Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today asked the Narendra Modi government to publish a 'white paper' on the number of foreigners it has detected and deported during its four-year rule.
"I demand that the government publish a white paper on how many Indians were detected and deported in last four years and what action have been taken to seal the border (with Bangladersh). We want a clear picture," he said at a press conference here.
Gogoi said it was the Congress government under him that had first launched the process of updating the NRC and set up a committee under the chairmanship of the then Minister Bhumidhar Barnman in 2005.
He said that in that committee, the then minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who is now a minister in the Assam's BJP government, was a member.
Another sub-committee, headed by Sarma, was also constituted in 2007 to expedite the NRC updation process.
"The NRC is my baby, the Congress's baby. We are the natural father. (Narendra) Modi is the foster father. We want the NRC to be implemented in a just and fair manner. All genuine Indians must be included in the NRC," he said.
The former chief minister said the draft NRC, which was published on July 30 and excluded names of over 40 lakh residents of the state, did not give any indication how many foreigners were found in the exercise. "Till now there is no idea about foreigners".
"On one hand the government is saying we could not describe anyone as foreigner and on the other hand BJP president Amit Shah is saying that they were all illegal immigrants. This is a complete contrary view," he said.
"Now everybody wants to take credit. The BJP is good in hijacking everything. They hijacked (legacy of Mahatma) Gandhi, (Sardar Vallabhbhai) Patel, Swami Vivekananda and even (B R) Ambedkar. They are expert in hijacking," he said.
Blasting BJP president Amit Shah for his reported comments that the 40 lakh people excluded from the draft NRC were "illegal immigrants", Gogoi said how did he know that all were foreigners when there was no data on it.
Shah had described the NRC as the soul of the Assam Accord but at the same time his party is the architect of the Citizenship Amendment Bill, which supports citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains who have entered India till 2014, he said.
"The NRC and the Citizenship Amendment Bill cannot go together. The cut-off date for NRC is 1971 while the Bill provides for citizenship to those who have entered India till 2014. It is nothing but double standard. The Bill violates the spirit of secularism and the Constitution," he said.
"Former chief minister Anowara Taimur's name was excluded. Two security officers of the chief minister (Sarbananda Sonowal) were not in the NRC. They are 'D' (doubtful) voters. There are many defects and leakages in NRC. Vast majority of the 'D' voters are Bengali Hindus. We are fighting for all - Hindus, Muslims everyone," he said.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)