An unconvinced opposition holds Rajya Sabha to ransom, fearing deportation of large chunks of what is generally believed to be their vote bank
Congratulating the people of the state for the successful publication of the National Register of Citizens (NRC), Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Monday said "the historic day will remain etched in their memories forever".
The process of publishing the final draft today was carried out in cooperation with the Registrar General of India, along with the central and the state government officials, under the direct supervision of the Supreme Court, the chief minister said.
"After the government led by the BJP and its allies assumed power in 2016 in the state, I went to the NRC office on May 25 that year to take forward the process," he said.
Sonowal also urged people not to panic if their names did not appear in NRC draft as genuine Indian citizens would get "full opportunity" to make claims and objections.
However, the Rajya Sabha was adjourned for the second time till 2 pm today as Opposition parties led by the TMC created an uproar over publication of Assam's National Register of Citizens.
When the Upper House resumed after the first adjournment at noon, members from Opposition parties especially Congress, TMC and Samajwadi Party were up on their feet to raise the issue again.
But Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu did not allow them and adjourned proceedings for the second time till 2 pm.
Out of 3.29 crore applicants, 2.89 crores have been found eligible for inclusion in the complete draft of NRC, that was released in Guwahati this morning. This meant that the names of 40.07 lakh have been left out.
SP members and some from the Congress too started raising the issue leading to a din.
Naidu first said he had not received any notice and later said that some members had met him expressing a desire to raise the NRC issue.
"I myself have requested the Home Minister to come (to respond to members' concern)," he said, adding he was ready for a discussion.
As unrelenting members moved to the aisle, he warned that House proceedings would be adjourned if they did not return to their seats.
"I am ready for discussions. I want the Home Minister to respond. What (more) you want," he said. "The Home Minister is here. He will respond," he said.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh was present in the House. He said the draft National Register of Citizens for Assam is completely "impartial" and those whose names are not included shouldn't panic as they will get an opportunity to prove their Indian citizenship.
"No coercive action will be taken against anyone. Hence, there is no need for anyone to panic," he told reporters here.
Even someone whose name is not in the final list can approach the foreigners’ tribunal, Singh said.
"Some people are unnecessarily trying to create an atmosphere of fear. This is a completely impartial report. No misinformation should be spread. This is a draft and not the final list," he said.
The NRC is a list of Assam's citizens and it is being updated following a direction of the Supreme Court. Assam is the first Indian state where the NRC is being updated after 1951, with March 24, 1971, as the cut-off date, to include names of "genuine Indian citizens".
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Last Updated 30, Jul 2018, 3:18 PM