The Rajya Sabha erupted in uproar on Tuesday after BJP MP Amit Shah said in the House that the Rajiv Gandhi-signed 1985 Assam Accord is in essence the same as Assam’s National Register of Citizens (NRC), the final draft of which was released Monday, TOI reported.
Congress MPs rushed into the well of the house to protest, after Shah, also BJP president, said the Congress didn’t have the courage to implement the NRC but the BJP did.
“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.
Shah was referring to the NRC of 1951 being updated in accordance with the 2005 tripartite agreement among the state government, the Centre and the influential All Assam Students’ Union (AASU).
The agreement was part of the process for implementing the 1985 Assam Accord. The updating of the NRC began then, in fits and starts, but soonstopped after violence broke out in several parts of the state. It was then that the Congress, according to Shah, showed it lacked courage.
Before Shah rose to speak, Congress MP Ghulam Nabi Azad spoke in opposition to the NRC which has left out 40 lakh Assamese from the final draft citizenship list.
“Genuine Indians should not be sent out of the country. NRC should not be politicised and used as vote bank. It is a human rights issue, not a Hindu-Muslim issue,” said Azad.