GUWAHATI, Aug 28 - With only a few days left for publication of the final National Register of Citizens (NRC), opposition Congress party has made plans to extend legal help and other assistance to Indian citizens whose names may fail to make it to the document.
“There have been apprehensions from many quarters that names of many genuine Indian citizens may not figure in the final NRC. A meeting of the legal department of the State Congress was held yesterday evening where deliberations took place regarding ways to extend legal assistance and other help to such people,” said Rhituporna Konwar, secretary of Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC).
Tuesday’s meeting was attended by APCC president Ripun Bora, former Chief Minister Bhumidhar Barman, Lok Sabha MPs Abdul Khaleque and Pradyut Bordoloi, as well as a number of senior advocates.
“Besides the legal department of the APCC, cells at district level will also provide help to Indian citizens who fail to make it to the final NRC,” added Konwar.
Meanwhile, the Congress has termed State BJP president Ranjeet Kumar Dass’ recent statement regarding the NRC update process “contempt of court” and called upon the Supreme Court to initiate proceedings against the ruling party leader.
Dass had recently expressed scepticism about the way the update work has been undertaken and said that the BJP believes the final NRC will not be error-free.
“NRC update was intended with the purpose to include the names of all genuine Indian citizens and to exclude all foreigners. Modalities for the process had been framed accordingly. But during the past three years we noticed that the BJP-led governments at the Centre and the State were diverting from the main intention of the NRC update process... If the final NRC really turns out to be faulty then the responsibility for it lies with the BJP governments at the Centre and the State,” said Konwar.
He added, “How can Dass say that the final NRC will not be error-free even before it has been published? ... It is unfortunate that the BJP now wants to use the NRC for electoral purposes. BJP showed the people the dream of an error-free NRC, but now it wants to blame the Supreme Court... Dass’ statement is contempt of court.”