NEW DELHI, Aug 9 - The opposition parties today petitioned President Ram Nath Kovind urging him to ensure that not a single Indian citizen is excluded from the National Register of Citizens (NRC) being updated in Assam.
A delegation of the opposition parties met the President here and submitted a memorandum on the NRC exercise. The petition titled ‘Bharatiya Nagrik Bachao’ (Save Indian Citizens) was signed by former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda (JD-S), Farooq Abdullah (NC), Anand Sharma (INC), Ram Gopal Yadav (SP), YS Chowdhary (TDP), Misa Bharti (RJD), Supriya Sule (NCP), Tiruchi Siva (DMK), Md Salim (CPI-M), D Raja (CPI), Sanjay Singh (AAP), Sudip Bandyopadhyay (AITC) and Derek O’Brien (AITC).
According to sources, the move by the combined Opposition to petition the President was initiated by the Trinamool Congress. The opposition parties said that the ruling dispensation’s deliberate attempt to undermine the nation’s democratic and secular values by making and spreading misleading statements against the Supreme Court is regrettable.
The memorandum said that the Supreme Court has not directed that the names of Indian citizens be deleted from the final draft NRC. The NRC has resulted in the exclusion of over 40 lakh Indian citizens. “These comprise Bengalis, Assamese, Rajasthanis, Marwaris, Biharis, Gorkhas, UP-ites, Punjabis, many tribals and Indian citizens from the four southern states who are residents of Assam for a very long period,” it said.
“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 marginalised. Serious anomalies in the preparation of the list have torn several families apart, destroying our social fabric,” the memorandum said.
Each and every extreme measure, starting with 200 companies of Central forces being sent to Assam, reflects the targeted destructiveness and political vendetta of the ruling dispensation, the memorandum said.
“On August 7, the Supreme Court of India severely reprimanded Assam’s NRC coordinator and the Registrar General of India for discussing with the media the modalities to be adopted in finalising the NRC. The Supreme Court cautioned that it could have sent them both to jail for contempt and restrained them from speaking to journalists without its approval,” it said.
The aftermath of the NRC 2018 is one example of the ruling dispensation threatening and attempting to ruin the nation’s great institutions like the Constitution, the Parliament, the judiciary and the media, the memorandum said. “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,” it added.