NEW DELHI: Amid the debate between opposition parties and the Centre over the National Register of Citizens in Assam, Congress leader Charan Das Mahant has advocated for having a place for guests' in the country.
"Whether it was Indira Gandhi's tenure or even before that, India has always given shelter to those who have come to the country, We have not asked anyone to leave. Some come as guests, some as poor, we should give them shelter and protect them," Congress leader Charan Das Mahant said.
Soon after, Chhattisgarh CM hit back at the Congress leader questioning if the country is a shelter home that everyone can stay here. "You want to make India a Dharamshala? Someone forcibly comes and uses resources, this is unacceptable. They will have to go back. Can't understand in what direction Congress wants to take the nation," Raman Singh said.
The Centre has been facing heat ever since the Assam government released the draft NRC on July 30 which left out nearly 40 lakh people in the state while incorporating names of 2.89 crore people.
While the opposition parties have been vociferous against the draft, BJP has defended it saying that the NRC is based on the Assam accord that was signed by the then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi. BJP chief Amit Shah claimed that the Congress had no problems with the NRC when the Assam Accord was signed but is raising objections now.
The BJP has been alleging that the for the sake of vote bank politics, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi is not making his stand clear on illegal migration from Bangladesh.
However, the Congress has responded saying it is not opposed to the NRC but to the way it was being implemented in Assam. "Amit Shah does not know the history of NRC. The 1985 Assam Accord was signed by Rajiv Gandhi and the Congress after coming to power. The party initiated the NRC process in 2005," AICC spokesperson Pawan Khera said.
The NRC draft features the names, addresses and photographs of all Indian citizens, who have been residing in the northeastern state before March 25, 1971.