Congress promises to help those Indian citizens whose names are missing in the final draft of NRC.
New Delhi: The Congress Saturday slammed the Modi government saying it is using the National Register of Citizens as a tool to divide society and asked party workers in Assam to help those whose names are missing in the final draft.
“The Congress is of the opinion that every Indian citizen who is not in the list should be given a chance to prove his/her citizenship and the party will help such Indian citizens,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said after a Congress Working (CWC) meeting in the capital Saturday.
The new CWC, constituted after Rahul Gandhi took charge of the party, had invited Assam Congress president Ripun Bora and other party MPs from the state to share their views on the NRC, aimed at identifying illegal migrants, especially from neighbouring Bangladesh.
Around 40 lakh people did not find their names in the final draft of the NRC, released early this week, leading to a huge controversy.
While BJP president Amit Shah in his speech in the Rajya Sabha said that NRC was part of Assam Accord, signed by then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, he lambasted the successive Congress governments for not taking steps to update the citizen register. He claimed it was the Modi government which had finished the long-pending task.
However, the Congress Saturday hit back at the BJP, saying 80 per cent of the NRC work was completed by 2016, the year when BJP came to power in the state.
“The Congress government in the state started the process in 2005. In 2009, the UPA government gave Rs 489 crore for the NRC and deputed 25,000 enumerators to carry out the exercise,” Surjewala said.
Since August 2014, the Supreme Court has been monitoring the NRC update process.
Making a distinction between Congress and BJP’s contribution to the NRC update exercise, Surjewala said, “Under the Vajpayee government only Rs 5 lakh was allocated for the NRC while our UPA government allotted around Rs 490 crore.”
The Congress also tried to corner the ruling party on the issue of deportation of illegal immigrants.
“They speak big words but their actions tell the truth. From 2004 to 2014, the UPA government deported 82,728 immigrants back to Bangladesh,” Surjewala claimed.
“In the past four years, the Modi government deported only 1,822 illegal immigrants. I am quoting a reply given in Parliament,” he added.
Rafale deal, bank frauds
Congress leaders also spoke on alleged bank frauds and the controversial Rafale deal, saying the party would raise these issues in Parliament starting Monday.
The CWC leaders also decided to meet more frequently and jointly take a decision on issues relevant to the country.
“There are elections in states and the general elections in 2019. In a way we started our preparation for the general election through this meeting,” said Ashok Gehlot, Congress general secretary in-charge of organisation.
The CWC met today. As a team, we discussed the political situation in the country & the huge opportunity for the Congress to highlight issues of corruption and failure of the government to provide jobs to our youth. Thank you to all those who attended today’s meeting. pic.twitter.com/QTPM8ltO51
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) August 4, 2018
Congress president Rahul Gandhi later tweeted: “As a team, we discussed the political situation in the country & the huge opportunity for the Congress to highlight issues of corruption and failure of the government to provide jobs to our youth.”