Guwahati, August 10: Eleven opposition parties including the Congress submitted a joint memorandum to President Ram Nath Kovind over the National Register of Citizens (NRC) issue.
The opposition parties urged Kovind to intervene in the matter and ensure that not a single Indian citizen is excluded from the NRC being updated in Assam.
The petition titled ‘Bharatiya Nagrik Bachao’ (Save Indian Citizens) was signed by former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda (JD-S), Sanjay Singh (AAP), Sudip Bandyopadhyay (AITC), Farooq Abdullah (NC), Anand Sharma (INC), Ram Gopal Yadav (SP), Supriya Sule (NCP), Tiruchi Siva (DMK), YS Chowdhary (TDP), Misa Bharti (RJD), Md Salim (CPI-M), D Raja (CPI) and Derek O’Brien (AITC).
The move by the opposition parties to petition the President was initiated by the Trinamool Congress.
In the memorandum, the opposition parties accused the government of undermining the nation’s democratic and secular values by making and spreading misleading statements against the Supreme Court. The memorandum also highlighted the exclusion of over 40 lakh people from the complete draft NRC.
Alleging anomalies in the preparation of the draft, the opposition parties, in the memorandum, stated, “Bengalis, Assamese, Rajasthanis, Marwaris, Biharis, Gorkhas, UP-ites, Punjabis, many tribals and Indian citizens from the four southern states are residents of Assam for a very long period. This NRC list has not even spared excluding some brave soldiers, ex-President’s families, a former Chief Minister and other elected representatives, prominent members of civil society as well as the poor and marginalized.”
The memorandum further mentioned, “As the custodian of these great institutions, we appeal and urge upon you to ensure that not a single Indian citizen is excluded from the NRC list in Assam.”
The Assam government released the second and final draft of NRC on July 30. 2,89, 83,677 persons were found eligible out of 3,29,91,384 applicants in the final draft of the NRC. Names of 4,007,707 people were not included in the final draft NRC.
The NRC contains names of Indian citizens of Assam. The NRC was prepared in 1951, after the Census of 1951. The NRC of 1951 is being updated to weed out the illegal migrants from Assam.
The NRC Updation of 2014-2016 across Assam includes the names of those persons (or their descendants) who appear in the NRC 1951, or in any of the Electoral Rolls up to the midnight of March 24, 1971 or in any one of the other admissible documents issued up to the midnight of March 24, 1971, which would prove their presence in Assam on or before March 24, 1971.