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India Assam Congress a house divided over NRC

Assam Congress a house divided over NRC

Differences have cropped up in the Congress' Assam unit over the NRC, with a former chief minister describing it as a 'waste paper' and a Lok Sabha MP of the party terming it a 'historic scientific document'

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Guwahati: Differences have cropped up in the Congress’ Assam unit over the NRC, with former chief minister Tarun Gogoi describing it as a “waste paper” and a Lok Sabha MP terming it a “historic scientific document”.

The final National Register of Citizens (NRC) was published on Saturday. According to it, out of the total 3.3 crore applicants, 3.11 crore figured in the list and names of about 19 lakh people were excluded.

“I have been saying for long that the NRC would be a waste paper. (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi had said Tarun Gogoi rolled out a red carpet for the foreigners. Instead of throwing out the illegal immigrants, he (Modi) could not prepare the NRC properly. We are with all Indians who were excluded from the NRC,” Gogoi said in a tweet in Assamese.

Congress MP from Barpeta, Abdul Khaleque, however, described the NRC, which validates the Indian citizens in Assam with bona fides, as a “milestone” and a “historic scientific document”.

“Although lots of names of Indian Citizens drops from final NRC, it’s a historic scientific document prepared by Government of Assam and Government of India under the supervision of Hon’ble Supreme Court of India. No doubt, it’s milestone (sic),” Khaleque tweeted.

The former chief minister’s son and Lok Sabha MP Gaurav Gogoi said it was due to the “carelessness” of state authorities that a genuine Indian citizen excluded from the NRC will now have to go to court. “In Assam, BJP says that excluded persons need not panic because they can approach a tribunal court. Question is why should a genuine Indian need to go to court to prove his or her citizenship, when it’s clearly due to the carelessness of the state authorities,” he tweeted.

A total of 3,30,27,661 people had applied to be included in the NRC. Of them, 3,11,21,004 have been included in the document and 19,06,657 excluded, a statement from the NRC State Coordinator’s office said on 31 August. What it did not state is the fact that a majority of those excluded are Hindus. Those who have been excluded from the National Register of Citizens have 120 days to appeal against it at Foreigners Tribunals.

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