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Row over NRC list in Assam echoes in Parliament; Centre says no role in list


Press Trust of India New Delhi
The row over the publication of the National Register of Citizens(NRC) in Assam today echoed in Parliament where Home Minister Rajnath Singh asserted the Centre has no role in the preparation of the draft list and it was done on the directives of the Supreme Court.
Singh also asked the opposition parties not to create panic and to politicise the "sensitive" issue.
As the Trinamool Congress(TMC), the Samajwadi Party(SP) and other opposition parties triggered an uproar in the Rajya Sabha leading to the adjournment of the House ahead of schedule, Singh told the Lok Sabha that allegations against the government were baseless.
In the Lok Sabha, the TMC, Congress, CPI(M) and the SP criticised the Centre over the publication of the list, saying it puts "human rights and democratic rights" of people at stake.
Over 40 lakh people in Assam have been left out from the the NRC, which is being prepared to identify illegal migrants in Assam. The second draft of the NRC was published today in Guwahati.
Singh said the NRC was being demanded in Assam for a long time and the previous state government had set up foreign tribunals following the Supreme Court order.
"In publishing NRC, the government has done nothing. Everything is being done as per Supreme Court order. The allegation of the opposition against the government is baseless," Singh said.
He appealed to opposition members not to create "panic" since it is a "sensitive issue".
"The government is not doing anything. Whatever is happening is under the supervision of the Supreme Court," Singh said.
Singh said the NRC list published today is not the final list and applicants will have the option of raising claims and objections.
"People who feel their name should have been part of the NRC can file claims and objections. In how much time those claims and objections would be disposed off that will be decided by the Supreme Court," he added.
Asking the opposition to list out what role the government has played in the NRC, Singh said, "It is a sensitive issue and should not be politicised unnecessarily".
Unsatisfied with the Minister's response, an unrelenting opposition staged a walkout from the House.
The Trinamool Congress had moved an adjournment motion in the Lok Sabha on the NRC issue, which was not taken up by Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.
Asking where the 40 lakh people will go, Sudip Bandyopadhyay (TMC) asked the Centre to ensure that justice should not be denied to the people who have been living in Assam for decades now.
Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said "original citizens" of the state are being asked questions and this is creating division in the state based on caste and creed.
Mohd Saleem (CPI-M) said the situation in Assam is fragile and "human rights and democratic rights" of the people of the state are at stake.
Jaiprakash Narayan Yadav (SP) said the move would lead to "hatred" and "violence" in Assam and dubbed it as a "war on people" who are living in the state for the last 40 years.
The Rajya Sabha witnessed three adjournmments earlier in the day due to the continued uproar over the issue before the Chair called it a day at 2:13 pm.
When the House reconvened at 2 pm after the last adjournment, TMC leader Derek O'Brien stood up demanding a discussion on the notice given by him on the NRC.
However, Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said he had taken the initiative earlier in the day and even called Home Minister Rajnath Singh to the House to respond on the issue, but the House was not in order.
Later, O'Brien told reporters that TMC has decided to circulate a note on NRC among other political parties.
"We think the NRC is inhuman and violates human rights. We would circulate a note on it among all political parties," he said.
Alleging that the government did not consult West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on the issue, the TMC leader said that a delegation of party MPs would soon visit Assam.

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First Published: Jul 30 2018 | 8:30 PM IST

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