'Assam list excludes government employees, former MPs'

IANS
Tuesday, 31 July 2018

The matter led to repeated disruptions in the Rajya Sabha where opposition members asked the government to address the issue on humanitarian basis.

NEW DELHI: Opposition MPs on Tuesday raised concern over Assam's draft National Register of Citizens (NRC) with a Trinamool Congress leader alleging that government employees and former MPs were among 40 lakh applicants dropped from the draft list.

The matter led to repeated disruptions in the Rajya Sabha where opposition members asked the government to address the issue on humanitarian basis.

Sukhendu Sekhar Roy of the Trinamool accused the government of violating human rights as the list of 40 lakh people includes those who are citizens of India.

"Even the names of people belonging to the armed forces, government offices, and even former MPs have been omitted. The name of a former deputy speaker has also not been included. This is a motivated attempt to render lakhs of people homeless," Roy said.

"The UN Convention on human rights, which India is a signatory to, is being violated here. That is why, (West Bengal Chief Minister) Mamata Banerjee has demanded that this (the list) must be withdrawn immediately.

"We have no problem if illegal inhabitants are deported. But no genuine and legal citizen must be touched. This should be supervised by a human rights body. We will not accept any other organisation."

The Trinamool demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi come to the House and make a statement on the issue.

Earlier, Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad urged Rajya Sabha Chairperson M. Venkaiah Naidu to suspend the Question Hour for a discussion on the "sensitive" issue.

Naidu agreed, saying he was making an exception because the House was unanimous and "the issue is serious and sensitive".

Azad said the issue related to human rights and not to any specific caste, religion or a party.

"Onus to prove citizenship is only on persons but it lies with the government also," he said.

He suggested that the government provide legal assistance to those excluded but strictly adhere to 16 provisions to prove the citizenship.

Samajwadi Party's Ramgopal Yadav said no one should be deprived of his fundamental rights.

"It needs utmost care to deal with the issue. No name should be deleted from the list in a hurry," he said.

Assam MP Bishwajit Daimari of the Bodoland People's Front said no Indian will be dropped out of the list.

When some of the opposition members objected to his speech, he shouted "leave Assam". This led to a ruckus in the House.

Trinamool's Roy objected to his remarks, saying it was against the constitution.

Naidu said the member said the word as he was provoked.

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