Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah on Monday charged the UPA governments of not showing the courage to identify and deport illegal immigrants from Assam as per an accord which was signed by erstwhile Prime Minister late Rajiv Gandhi in 1985.
Addressing a press conference, Shah said that by overlooking the National Register of Citizens (NRC) draft in 2005, the Congress underplayed the safety and security of the Indian citizens just to “play vote-bank politics”.
“The accord which was signed by Rajiv Gandhi, categorically mentioned that there will be an exercise to evict illegal Bangladeshi immigrants from Assam. It’s not my words. It was written in the accord which was signed by Mr. Gandhi.”
“I want to ask the Congress party on how can they question this draft when it was started by them. It is them who introduced the NRC draft in 2005. The Congress did not have enough courage to kick out the illegal Bangladeshi immigrants. They left the draft midway after introducing it,” he added.
The BJP chief further said that it is the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA Government which continued working on the draft.
“There was a PIL filed by the citizens of Assam in the Supreme Court, following which, there was a time-bound programme on which, the NDA Government under Narendra Modi started working on it. The draft has, finally, been presented to the people of Assam, in which, 40 lakh people have been deemed ineligible. Moreover, the order was pronounced by the Supreme Court and not the Government,” Shah emphasised.
The draft list, which was released on Monday, has left out nearly 40 lakh people in Assam incorporating names of 2.89 crore people out of 3.29 crore applicants. The list has been updated for the first time since 1951, to account for illegal migration from nearby Bangladesh.
The opposition parties, including, the Congress have been vociferous against the draft. Congress president Rahul Gandhi, yesterday, took to Twitter to criticise the draft and said the “execution of the critical and highly sensitive exercise is tardy”