Guwahati: Days after the final draft of National Register of Citizens (NRC) was released in Assam, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Wednesday said that the Centre has been in close touch with Bangladesh government both prior to and following the issuance of the voters' list.
Assuring the neighbouring country, MEA said that the list is a draft list prepared under orders of the Supreme Court while the process of identification of citizens of Assam is still underway.
"We have been in close touch with Bangladesh government, both prior to and following the issuance of the draft. We have assured them that it is still a draft list prepared under orders of Supreme Court and the process of identification of citizens of Assam is still underway," MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.
In response, the Bangladesh government said it has taken the view that the ongoing process is an internal matter of India.
Raveesh Kumar added that the release of the NRC draft in Assam has not affected the relationship between the two neighbouring countries.
"The Bangladesh government has taken the view that the ongoing process is an internal matter of India. We do not apprehend any impact on our relationship with Bangladesh which is excellent," he added.
The northeast state came under fire following the release of the draft which excluded several lakhs of people, terming them as 'illegal immigrants'. Over 40 lakh people in Assam have been left out from the NRC, which has been being prepared to identify illegal migrants in the state.
Following this, the Election Commission said that the people who have been excluded from the voters' list are ineligible to vote. The publication of the complete draft of the NRC witnessed the inclusion of 2,89,83,677 people out of a total 3,29,91,384 applicants.
The massive Supreme Court-monitored exercise to identify genuine Indian nationals living in Assam rocked both house of Parliament after which Home Minister Rajnath Singh appealed to the opposition not to politicise the 'sensitive' matter as the list has been published on the directives of the Supreme Court and the Centre has 'no role' in it.