Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Chief Mohan Bhagwat issued a statement on the National Register of Citizen’s (NRC) list in Assam wherein he said, "We won’t let any Hindu leave the nation." According to reports, the comment was made during an RSS - BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) meet in Kolkata and the same has been confirmed by BJP Bengal Chief Dilip Ghosh.
The comment made by RSS Chief Bhagwat has drawn sharp criticisms from various members of the opposition, with the opposition essentially saying that perhaps what the RSS is doing is trying to dictate the BJP and the BJP is essentially following the same. Communist Party of India’ (CPIM) Brinda Karat lashed out at Bhagwat and the RSS and said, “This is their play, they do not care about the citizenship, they simply want to divide the country. The citizens of the country who have rights which are also their constitutional rights, they want to change that and further the rights of held by the citizens of this country they want to make it about religion. This is the RSS agenda and it is extremely clear from the statement made by Mohan Bhagwat that it is not based on their constitutional rights but rather with religion. (sic)”
The NRC was first prepared in 1951 under the purview of the Census Act, 1948. An updation process was started in 2013 and ended with the receipt of forms by the NRC authorities on August 31, 2015. The process aimed at separating genuine Indian citizens from undocumented immigrants living in Assam. As per NRC terms, a resident has to prove that they or their ancestors entered Assam before midnight on March 24, 1971. The Centre has said that those failing to do so may not be deported.
According to the NRC press release, 3,30,27,661 Assam residents have had to prove their Indian citizenship. Previously in December 2017, the first draft was published in which 140 lakh people were included. Further, in July 2018, the second draft was published where more than 40 lakh people were excluded. Apart from these drafts, an additional exclusion list was published on June 26, 2019, where names of 1,02,463 people were published. These persons were earlier included in the draft.