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Assam Congress ‘NRC help’ tour from tomorrow

Over 19 lakh applicants were left out of the final list for want of valid papers to establish their citizenship

By Abdul Gani in Guwahati
  • Published 12.09.19, 2:28 AM
  • Updated 12.09.19, 2:42 AM
  • 2 mins read
Ripun Bora in Guwahati on Wednesday Picture by UB Photos

A 57-member team of the Assam Congress will travel across the state for 16 days from Friday to help genuine Indian citizens who have been left out of the final NRC.

Over 19 lakh applicants were left out of the final list for want of valid papers to establish their citizenship.

“According to a decision taken jointly by the Assam PCC and Congress Legislature Party, a high-level team of the PCC will visit different places of the state in a phased manner to take stock of the post-NRC scenario. The team will interact with the people whose names have not been included in the final list of the NRC. It will create awareness and sensitise them about the various procedures of appeal (in foreigners tribunal) for those Indians whose names have been left out. The Congress is committed to ensure that the name of every Indian is in the NRC,” PCC president Ripun Bora told reporters at the party headquarters here on Wednesday,

The team includes all Congress MPs, MLAs and other leaders, including former chief minister Tarun Gogoi.

The members will begin their tour from Tinsukia on September 13 and end it on September 28. The team will visit several places in Nagaon, Hojai, Chirang, Dhubri, Bongaigaon, Kamrup (rural), Karimganj, Hailakandi, Cachar and Sonitpur districts, besides Tinsukia.

Bora said poor people had to attend at least six to seven hearings with documents to prove their citizenship but despite the effort many genuine Indian citizens were left out of the final list.

He also slammed the state BJP leaders for criticising the final NRC list.

“People were asked time and again to prove their citizenship. It came through a process. Now, why are the state BJP leaders criticising the NRC? Even the spokesperson for the Union ministry of external affairs said that it’s a scientific process. The BJP wants to continue its politics with ‘foreigners’,” he added.

The Assam PCC president slammed chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal for “remaining silent” when BJP president Amit Shah reiterated here on Monday that the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) would be moved again.

Taking part in the fourth conclave of the North East Democratic Alliance (Neda), a platform of all anti-Congress regional parties, Shah had said the bill would be brought back.

All chief ministers of the eight northeastern states attended the meeting. Among them, Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K. Sangma, Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio and Mizoram chief minister Zoramthanga expressed their concern over the issue as the bill offers citizenship to non-Muslim migrants from the neighbouring countries till December 31, 2014.

“It’s very unfortunate to see our chief minister and other leaders like the AGP’s Atul Bora, who claims to be a Assamese nationalist, remained silent when Shah spoke of bringing the bill. Three chief ministers under Neda expressed their concern for their states if the bill is brought back. If they can, why can’t our chief minister do it?” Bora said.Bora said the BJP had promised to make Assam and the country free of illegal migrants but by supporting the bill, they are bringing in the illegal foreigners into the country.

Former Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi also lauded the efforts of the chief ministers of Meghalaya, Nagaland, and Mizoram for their “bold stand” against the bill.

Sonowal did not talk about the bill. Instead, he described Shah as a “patriot” over abrogation of Article 370.