Indian Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday said the National Register of Citizens (NRC) would be implemented across the country irrespective of religion.
Speaking in the parliament’s upper house, the minister said: “The process of NRC will be carried out across the country. No one, irrespective of religion should be worried, it is just a process to get everyone under the NRC.”
Denying allegations that the policy targets a particular religion, Shah sought to clarify that the NRC has no provision stipulating the exclusion of people based on religion. “All citizens of India irrespective of religion will figure in the NRC list.”
The minister added that in Assam, those whose names have been excluded from the draft list have the right to appeal the tribunal.
“People whose names have not figured in the draft list have the right appeal to Tribunal - constituted across Assam. Those who can’t afford legal counsel, the Assam government will bear the cost to hire a lawyer,” he said.
Immediately after Shah’s remarks on NRC in parliament, the Home Minister’s name started trending on Twitter with #AmitShah. While some lauded the policy, other criticised it.
#AmitShah— Seedhi Baat No Bakwas...😜 (@BhaskarDey14) November 20, 2019
AmitShah is the lion of BJP... When he said NRC would be implemented nationwide.. That means,it will definitely happen...
#AmitShah is a cancer that will eat up this nation.— shubhankar.c (@monkeypreneur) November 20, 2019
Mr. Amit Shah is talking about NRC. It seems that election is coming.😂😂😂😂😂😂— Ashish verma (@ashi_002) November 20, 2019
Now people understood that kind of politics.
Vote percentage has been reduced in Maharashtra and Haryana.
And Now Mr. Chankya is not capable to form govt. in Maharashtra😂😂😂😂😂😂😂#AmitShah pic.twitter.com/O2yzIg4WWO
Meanwhile, the Assam government promised free legal aid to those excluded through the use of district legal cells.
As per government data, nearly 1.9 million people have been excluded from citizenship in Assam, which has a population of nearly 33 million.
The Indian government launched a citizen identification process in Assam in 2017, fearing millions of Bangladeshis had illegally entered Indian territory after the creation of Bangladesh in 1971.
The Home Minister also spoke about the Citizenship Amendment, saying the government accepts that Hindu refugees, Buddhists, Jain, Christians, Sikh and Parsi should get citizenship, as it is the point of the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB).
The Bill is likely to be introduced in the ongoing Winter Session of parliament, which began on Monday and will last till 13 December.