Says those whose names absent shouldn’t panic.
New Delhi: As pandemonium over non-inclusion of 40 lakh citizens of Assam in the National Register of Citizens (NRC) led to repeated adjournments in Rajya Sabha with lawmakers from the TMC disrupting proceedings, home minister Rajnath Singh in Lok Sabha said on Monday that the draft NRC for the state is completely “impartial” and those whose names are not included should not panic as they will get an opportunity to prove their Indian citizenship.
Unsatisfied with the home minister’s response, an unrelenting Opposition staged a walkout from Lok Sabha.
Mr Singh said, “No coercive action will be taken against anyone. Hence, there is no need for anyone to panic. This is a draft and not the final list.”
The home minister’s reaction came after the draft NRC was published with the names of about 40 lakh residents of the state not being included.
Even someone whose name is not in the final list can approach the foreigners’ tribunal, Mr Singh said, adding that only after the disposal of claims and objections, the final NRC will be published.
“Some people are unnecessarily trying to create an atmosphere of fear. I want to assure all that there is no need for any apprehension or fear. Some misinformation is also being spread. The NRC process has been done impartially,” he added.
Mr Singh said some people may not have been able to submit necessary documents and they will get full opportunity through the claims and objections process.
The NRC is a list of Assam’s citizens and it is being updated following a direction of the Supreme Court. The much-anticipated final draft of the NRC was published earlier on Monday, and out of 3.29 crore applicants, 2.9 crore have been found eligible for inclusion in the complete draft of NRC, that was released in Guwahati on Monday morning.
The TMC had moved an adjournment motion in the Lok Sabha on the NRC issue, which was not taken up by Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.
Asking where the 40 lakh people would go, TMC MP Sudip Bandyopadhyay asked the Centre to ensure that justice should not be denied to the people who have been living in Assam for decades now.
“It is inhuman. I request the Centre that amendments be moved so that these 40 lakh people get to stay in Assam,” he said.
Congress leader Mallika-rjun Kharge said “original citizens” of the state were being asked questions and this was creating division in the state based on caste and creed.