The misgovernance of the BJP rule has now turned into a whirlpool for the party leadership particularly the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his deputy and party chief Amit Shah who are frantically searching even for a straw to clutch at and fortunately they got a seemingly solid piece in the form of the National Register of Citizens in Assam. It is a strong weapon in their communal agenda propagating that the BJP wanted to drive out the Bangladeshis from Assam, but the Congress was opposing it. In Rajasthan poll campaign on August 4, Amit Shah declared in a rally that the Congress hoped to protect its vote bank in Assam, but that was the question of national security. He questioned whether the Bangladeshi infiltrators should be deported back or not and answered that we could not give them shelter in our country. He said it was the Narendra Modi government that initiated the process to get rid of illegal citizens. But in the next breath he corrected himself and said it was the Supreme Court order and we were implementing it. The other day in Parliament also, Amit Shah boasted that the accord was concluded by the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1985 but the Congress did not have courage and now BJP was implementing it. On the same floor of Parliament the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that the government was implementing the order of the Supreme Court. The Congress was justified to make strong protest in the House against the irresponsible comments of Amit Shah.
When this false boastful attitude of the BJP chief was exposed on a popular TV channel, the owner apparently under the influence of the ruling party, asked one journalist to go on leave and sacked two others. This shows how our electronic media are working in our country. Amit Shah’s opening of the Rajasthan poll campaign is an indication that the BJP is bent on exploiting the NRC issue in the coming assembly and Lok Sabha campaign to misguide the masses that it is the BJP which is determined to drive out the illegal citizens for the sake of national security and on the contrary the Congress has soft corner for Bangladeshis. As a matter of fact, the Congress in its Working Committee Meeting on August 4 clarified its stand that citizenship is a sensitive issue and it should not be dealt in a haphazard manner. No doubt the process was carried out under the direction of the Supreme Court but it is riddled with flaws, inaccuracies and human errors. The net result is that those who are not included in the NRC are genuinely Assam citizens and those who migrated from the neighbouring states of Bihar, Bengal and other states and who are Indians. The BJP is blissfully ignoring the plight of these Indian citizens and trumpeting the issue only to make it a poll plank and to tarnish the image of the Congress with a bundle of lies. The Congress Working Committee rightly accused the BJP of “diabolical agenda” of exploiting the issue for the coming elections.
The present process is not the implementation of the 1985 accord, but the result of the pending case in the Supreme Court. Public interest litigation was filed in the Supreme Court by Assam Public Works which sought the removal of illegal voters from the electoral rolls of Assam and preparation of NRC under the Citizenship Act 1955. Though the petition was filed in 2009 but the process came to an end on July 30, 2018 when the final draft was presented. The panchayatraj certificates were not accepted for the citizenship claims as per the Gauhati High Court order. Under the present procedure which is confusing and complex, it has become very difficult for people to prove their citizenship. Keeping the fact in view the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said many people with Aadhar and other documents could not prove their citizenship. Therefore she was opposed to the whole process. The state government which is working under the instructions of the Supreme Court should see that the official mode and procedure is simplified and claims are not rejected on flimsy grounds.