Former Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Saturday hit out at the ruling BJP in the state over the National Register of Citizens (NRC), accused the ruling party of failing to ensure a free and fair process even with the entire administrative machinery at its disposal. The final NRC was published on Saturday, and excluded over 19 lakh names. He added that the BJP was attempting to hoodwink people through the NRC.
"I am not happy with the way the NRC has been published with names of genuine Indian citizens left out and foreigners included", the three-time former chief minister told reporters in Guwahati.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah as the BJP president had accused the Congress of not completing the NRC and had assured that they will bring out a free and fair citizens list, he said.
IAS officer Prateek Hajela was appointed as the NRC state coordinator by Gogoi in 2013 and the former chief minister often claims credit for initiating the updation work during his tenure.
"The BJP is also not happy with the published NRC and this shows how miserably they have failed. It is the state government which has the machinery to detect and decide who are foreigners with the help of its police, intelligence and administrative officers", he said.
The senior Congress leader said NEDA convenor Himanta Biswa Sarma's was "trying to hoodwink people" with his statement that Supreme Court should allow at least 20 per cent re-verification of the names in border districts and 10 per cent in the rest of Assam as requested by the state and central governments earlier.
The AASU, too, is not happy with the NRC and if they who had spearheaded the Assam agitation to drive out foreigners are dissatisfied, then "what is the point in having the NRC", he asked.
"The Final NRC instead of solving the problem of illegal foreigners will now create more problems", he said. Gogoi said that he had doubts about the NRC becoming a "waste-paper and ultimately this what it has turned out to be".
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(With PTI inputs)