A delegation of Congress leaders met the party’s interim President Sonia Gandhi on Saturday, November 16 and submitted a ground report on the issue of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB). The delegation including Jairam Ramesh, Mukul Wasnik, Bhawar Jitender Singh, Manickam Tagore, Ranjit Mukherjee, and Mohammed Khan met Sonia Gandhi to submit the report. Earlier on Friday, a delegation of Congress MLAs from Manipur, headed by Ibobi Singh, also met Sonia Gandhi.
Speaking to the media Ibobi Singh said, “All the MLAs from Manipur have come for two important issues to meet the Prime Minister and the Home Minister. Once this bill is passed, our apprehension is that those people who are not indigenous people, who are staying in Bangladesh, Pakistan or Afghanistan will start to enter Manipur because Manipur is the extreme border of the northeast border of Myanmar. We fear that Manipur will become a dumping ground of foreigners. That is why we have met Sonia Gandhi, we have submitted a copy of these two bills.”
Talking about the issue another Congress leader said, “There is a consensus among the people of North East States across all religions and castes that Citizenship Amendment Bill should not be passed which is already in the governments’ agenda for this winter session.”
The Congress party has been at loggerheads with the Centre over the implementation of NRC. The party has accused the BJP-led Central government of politicising the issue. In the final NRC list published on August 31 for Assam, a total of 3,11,21,004 persons were found eligible for inclusion in the list leaving out 19,06,657 persons, including those who did not submit their claims.
The National Register of Citizens (NRC) is a register maintained by the Government of India containing names and certain relevant information for identification of Indian citizens of Assam state.
The Cabinet approved the Citizenship Amendment Bill (2016) in the Lok Sabha on January 7. The bill grants Indian citizenship by naturalisation to communities such as Hindus, Buddhists, Christians, Jains, Parsis and Sikhs, fleeing persecution in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan. Citizenship would be granted to those who have lived in India for six or more years. The government argued that the bill is intended to those 'escaping persecution' and not for economic migrants.
(with ANI inputs)