NEW DELHI, July 31: BJP president Amit Shah on Tuesday hit back at the opposition parties for berating the National Register of Citizens (NRC) list, which was released in Assam yesterday, saying that the list is meant to safeguard the human rights of the people of “this country”.
“They talk of human rights. I ask them, what about the human rights of Assamese people. Do the people of this country do not have human rights? How will the country run if illegal immigrants keep infiltrating its borders?” Shah said at a press conference in the national capital.
The BJP president demanded that the opposition parties should clarify their stand on the issue of illegal immigrants.
“All parties should clarify their stand— in a clear yes and no— on the issue of illegal Bangladeshi immigrants in the country,” Shah said as he clarified that the NRC list was released for the security of the country.
The BJP chief also slammed the Congress and other opposition parties for opposing the NRC for the sake of “vote-bank politics”.
“You (Congress) didn’t have the courage to throw out illegal Bangladeshi immigrants. Apart from the BJP and BJD, not a single party has come forward and said that there is no place for illegal Bangladeshi immigrants in the country – all for the sake of vote bank politics,” he said.
The BJP leader added that the NRC list is merely a draft and not the final version and that no genuine citizen of this country will be excluded from the list.
“The list is yet to be vetted and discussed. However, the opposition parties are trying to create an atmosphere of fear and confusion by spreading lies about the NRC list,” he said.
Shah said that the government led by his party gives top-most priority to the security of this country and the primary objective of the list is to secure the Indian borders.
“The process is transparent. We will exclude each and every illegal immigrant from the voting list of this country,” Shah added.
The BJP president also accused the Congress party of misleading the people of the country and asked Rahul Gandhi to come clear on the issue of illegal immigrants.
“Indira Gandhi herself had said that in this country there is no space for illegal immigrant. Even Chidambaram had said that same thing. I ask Rahul to clarify his stand on the issue,” he said.
Shah said that he is amazed at the allegations that NRC will lead to conflicts within different regions of the country.
“I would like to clarify that in Assam, people who have come from other Indian states will not be targeted,” he said..
Shah was responding to West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s opposition to NRC. Banerjee had claimed that the list will lead to friction between the various communities and regions of the country.
“If Bengalis say Biharis can’t stay in Bengal, South Indian people say North Indians can’t stay there and North Indians say South Indians can’t stay here. What will be state of this country, because we are together? Our country is a family,” she questioned.
The BJP president also slammed the West Bengal chief minister for alleging that NRC was a political tool by the BJP-led government.
“I was listening to her speech where she said that we are doing this (implementing NRC) to win elections. She should understand that NRC was our demand even when we were in opposition,” Shah retorted.
Earlier today, the West Bengal chief minister had said that NRC is being implemented with a political motive. “Only to win polls people can’t be victimized.
Don’t you think people whose name isn’t on the list will lose a part of their identity? We will not let this happen,” she had said.
Earlier today, the BJP president, amid uproar in Rajya Sabha, said that the essence of NRC is similar to Rajiv Gandhi-signed 1985 Assam Accord.
“Rajiv Gandhi signed the Assam Accord in 1985, which was similar to NRC. They did not have courage to implement it, we did,” said Shah as Congress MPs erupted in ire. (TNN)