NRC must be debated by all sections: Chandy

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Thiruvananthapuram : Former Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Oommen Chandy said on Tuesday that the implications of excluding four million people from the draft National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam are grave, and that the issue must be debated by all sections of the society.

The recent Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting in Delhi had discussed the issue in detail, Chandy said, adding that it took note of the anguish among those whose names have not made it to the list.

"Even though the government cites national security, ironically some ex-defence personnel, former ministers, MLAs and other eminent citizens and families have not made it to the list," said Chandy in his Facebook post on Tuesday.

"While non-inclusion of such names has caught the attention of the media, the poor and faceless have none to turn to for help," he said.

Chandy is currently the AICC general secretary in charge of Andhra Pradesh and is now touring that state as part of reviving the party there.

He lashed out at the BJP who, he said, has been creating an impression that the Congress is hypocritical and is opposing the NRC for political gains, despite starting the process as a part of the Assam Accord, 1985.

"A BJP MLA from Telangana has advocated shooting those who refuse to leave the country. The BJP has not taken action against him, implying that the party concurs with his views. The Congress does not oppose the NRC," he said.

"On the contrary, it was in 2009 that Rs 489 crore was allocated for the enumeration process and about 80 per cent of the process was completed by 2014. It is the BJP that is politicizing the issue," said Chandy.

"Nothing can be more tragic than agents of the state turning against its own bona-fide citizens and terming them aliens or disparagingly calling them outsiders," said Chandy.