Will ensure verification of citizens in Assam done with transparency: Cong  

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New Delhi, Jan 1 (PTI): Congress said on Monday it will work towards ensuring that the verification process of citizens in Assam is done with transparency and assured the people that it will ‘handhold’ them so that not a single claim is left unaddressed.

As the Registrar General of India issued the first draft list of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) for Assam on Sunday night, the Congress, which is in the opposition in the NDA-ruled state, said no family or section of people would be left out on account of verification of documents and asserted that it stands unequivocally with the people of Assam.

Congress communications in-charge Randeep Surjewala said the NRC, in accordance with the directions of the Supreme Court, was published with the names of 1.9 crore people out of the 3.29 crore total applicants in Assam.

“We assure people of Assam that Congress leaders and workers will leave no stone unturned to ensure that not a single claim of any citizen is left unaddressed and not a single family or a section of people suffers on account of lack of appropriate verification of their documents or claim,” Surjewala said.

“We will handhold and provide all the necessary support in this regard,” he said.

Surjewala said the Congress party will ensure that the entire process of verification of citizens is carried out with complete integrity, transparency and accountability. He said the party stands unequivocally with the people of Assam in ensuring that the entire process is carried out in an amicable and peaceful manner and “with absolute lucidity, clarity and visibility”.

The much-awaited first draft of the National Register of Citizens, containing 1.9 crore names, was released at midnight, following which people have been flocking to the seva kendras across Assam since this morning to check whether their names figured in it.

Surjewala said the registry is a follow-up action on the historical ‘1985 Assam Peace Accord’ signed by then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, which led to the end of a movement that had claimed many lives and culminated in the strengthening of the democratic process.

This process of identification and inclusion has been carried on since then, he said. Surjewala said in 2005 there was tripartite consensus built between then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, then Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi and representatives of All Assam Students’ Union (AASU), which decided to take forward the issue of preparation of National Register of Citizens.

The exercise that began in right earnestness, he said, has been monitored by the Supreme Court since December 2013 and the first draft has consequently been published.

“The first step in this Herculean task has been possible owing to the commitment of people of Assam to the ‘Accord’. We reiterate that Congress Party remains committed to every pledge made in the ‘Assam Peace Accord’,” he said.

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