On Monday, Union Minister Amit Shah has hinted that after Assam, the Central Government is planning to locate and weed out illegal immigrants will be taken across the nation. Amid a huge dissatisfaction in Assam over the final NRC list, in which 19 lakh people have been eliminated, said the Ministry that the Centre will throw out “every single illegal immigrant” of the country.
During a two-day visit to the Northeast, Mr. Shah was quoted saying, “All states are worried about the NRC the national register of citizens).”
Mr. Shah said, “Assam thinks NRC was wrong, smaller states felt there would be a spillover. Let me assure, not only Assam, we want the entire country to be cleansed of illegal migrants. We already have a plan ready. We will bring all states into confidence.”
Since the final NRC list was issued, a section of the ruling party leaders in the state has expressed dissatisfaction at the exclusion of a group of Bengali Hindus – who comprises 18 percent of the population of Assam and a majority of BJP’s Vote Bank. BJP MLA Silditya Dev had even reported that the NRC list was part of a “conspiracy to keep Hindus out and help Muslims.”
Mr. Shah further claims that the NRC list was a “problem”, adding that “a lot of people think many people were left out of NRC. We want to assure that no illegal migrants will be able to stay in Assam and go to another state. We want the country to be rid of illegal migrants,” assures that states like Meghalaya have also raised a concern about illegal migrants from Assam dwelling in their state.
On Sunday, at a North Eastern Council Meeting in Guwahati, Mr. Shah was quoted saying, “I want to clearly say that not a single illegal migrant will be allowed to stay in the country by the Government of India. This is our Commitment.”
He has further assured that the Centre has “no plan to abrogate Article 371” of the Indian Constitution, which offers North-East its ‘special status’.
While referring to the government’s proposal to bring a bill that will offer Indian Citizenship to be members of six minority communities from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan, even if they don’t possess any valid documents, Mr. Shah said, “Let me clarify this. (Articles) 370 and 371 have no relation. The citizenship bill will not hurt (Article) 371, the government of India will ensure it. We will ensure it does not infringe our tribal laws.”
The prospect of this worried the northeastern states that desired to keep their tribal culture free of outside influences.
The Central Government’s move to end “special status” granted to Jammu and Kashmir has left states like Nagaland, which also seek advantage of “special status” under Article 371 of the Indian Constitution.