Guwahati: Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said the Supreme Court-monitored National Register of Citizens in Assam would have been a “correct NRC” had the full responsibility of its updation been given to the state government.
Replying to the debate on Governor's Speech during the one-day special session of the Assam Assembly on Monday, Sonowal also said people need not fear the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) as the government will not do anything against their interests.
“The BJP wants a correct NRC. If the Assam government had got full responsibility of the NRC upgrade work, then I can tell it with confidence that it would have been a correct NRC," he told the House.
As the mammoth NRC exercise was carried out under the direct supervision of the Supreme Court, the state had no role to play in its upgrade process, Sonowal said in his over an hour long speech that ended post-midnight.
"The Assam government only provided the service of 55,000 of its employees and the police force for the security purpose," he added.
The final NRC was published on August 31 last year by excluding 19, 06,657 persons. A total of 3,11,21,004 names were included out of 3,30,27,661 applicants.
Talking about the CAA, the chief minister said the people were protesting because misinformation regarding the Act was being fed to them.
“The number floating is just imaginary about how many people will apply for citizenship. The CAA is a national Act and entire India will implement it. Please do not get apprehensive about the Act. The rules are not framed yet and we have given our suggestions," he added.
He stressed that after people apply for the citizenship, all applications will be examined and all of the applicants may not get citizenship.
"I respect AASU as I am a product of that organisation. But no one should spread misinformation. Indigenous people will be given land rights and the definition of indigenous will also be decided. All the people are safe in our government.
"I cannot think of betraying mother Assam. How can people think about it? We have studied the Act. Those people living here for decades will apply and talk about their mind... Please don't doubt the government unnecessarily," Sonowal said.
"I appeal to the opposition parties to leave aside petty politics and lead with correct information. I also assure the people that we will not make you weak. We will make you the strongest community in India," he said, reiterating his position of safeguarding the culture, identity and language of Assam.
Earlier, Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma in his speech in the Assembly said that a maximum of five lakh Hindu Bangladeshis will be benefitted from the CAA in the state.