‘Thin Line Between Nationalism & Xenophobia’: Politicians on NRC
“The country belongs to them, they should conduct NRC wherever they wish to,” a top Congress leader said.
The final Assam National Register of Citizens (NRC) list was released on Saturday, 31 August, with more than 19 lakh people being excluded and a total of 3,11,21,004 found eligible for inclusion.
Dissatisfaction poured in not only from members of the Opposition parties but also the BJP itself.
While for some of the BJP leaders in Assam the concern was the exclusion of many “genuine citizens”, most of the Opposition condemned the entire process and the anxieties and distress that it has caused among the minority communities in this state.
Congress leader from Kerala, Shashi Tharoor, subtly hinted that the NRC had crossed the line between nationalism and xenophobia.
Another top Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury took a dig at the BJP government to implement the procedure in the Parliament.
“The country belongs to them, they should conduct NRC wherever they wish to. They were not able to handle Assam NRC, they may go to other states also. They should conduct NRC in Parliament also,” Chowdhury told reporters.
This dig was said in response to BJP Leader Manoj Tiwari’s comments on NRC. Lauding the procedure in Assam, he had told reporters, “National Register of Citizens (NRC) is needed in Delhi as situation is becoming dangerous. Illegal immigrants who have settled here are the most dangerous, we will implement NRC here as well.”
Own up to NRC Fiasco: Mamata Banerjee
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee termed the NRC a “fiasco” and said that it is being carried out with an “ulterior motive” rather than the “larger interest of the nation.”
Banerjee said, “My heart goes out to all those, especially the large number of Bengali speaking brothers and sisters, who are made to suffer because of this botched-up process (sic).”
The TMC has been one of the most strident critics of the citizens’ register and has accused BJP governments both at the Centre and in Assam of trying to drive out Bengalis from the northeastern state.
AIMIM Chief Raises Concerns
AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi raised concerns about those whose other family members have been included.
In a tweet, Owaisi also said, “The myth of the illegal migrant is dispelled with the #NRCFinalList. Will Amit Shah now explain how he came to know of 40 lakh ghusbethi? What of the fear mongering of some districts becoming Muslim majority? (sic)”
After the list was out, Sanaullah had said, “I was not expecting my name to be in the list as my case is still pending in the high court, I have full faith in the judiciary and I'm confident that I will get justice.”
The official handle of the CPI(M) tweeted out a statement on behalf of the party members with suggestions on how to ensure justice to the excluded. The statement read, “...the present system of sending those declared as foreigners by the Tribunals to detention camps has to be stopped as it is violative of basic human rights.”
Several top leaders are yet to comment on the NRC list. This story will be updated as and when they comment on the matter.
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