AGP alleges Centre’s intention to pass Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 will leave NRC null and void

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AGP, a coalition partner of the ruling BJP government in Assam, at a press conference in Guwahati on Monday said the ongoing process of updating the NRC will be null and void if the Centre passes the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.

AGP President and Assam Minister Atul Bora said that the Foreigners (Amendment) Order, 2015, and the Passport (Entry into India) Amendment Rules, 2015, are vested interests of the Centre to grant citizenship to foreigners of “certain religions” staying in the country illegally.

“If the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, is passed, the process of updating the NRC will be of no use,” alleged Bora.

He said that the central government is trying to grant Indian citizenship to people of certain religions, claiming that they are facing religious harassment in their homelands. The AGP strongly protests any such attempt and will stop such attempts at any cost.

According to Bora, AGP has been in talks with other parties like the Shiv Sena, who have presence in the Parliament, over the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016. “We will foil any attempt to make it into a law.”

Bora, who is the state agriculture minister, informed that an AGP team, led by its working President and Water Resources Minister Keshav Mahanta, met the NRC State Coordinator Prateek Hajela and submitted a memorandum demanding an error-free NRC, touted to be a proof of Assamese identity.

“We want an error-free NRC in which name of no foreigner is included and name of no genuine citizen is excluded. The Supreme Court is monitoring the process and we are hopeful of such a genuine document,” he said.

Further, he added that the Assam government should deal sternly with people trying to create tension.

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