Amit Shah, NRC All-India list, Citizenship Amendment Bill: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday made it clear the National Register of Citizens (NRC) will cover every citizen across the country, irrespective of the individual’s race, caste or religion. The Union home minister also said NRC is different from the Citizenship Amendment Bill which is needed to grant Indian citizenship to Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, Jain, Christian, Parsi refugees who are being discriminated on basis of religion in Pakistan, Bangladesh or Afghanistan.

Amit Shah said NRC has no such provision to exclude people of other religions (apart from Hindus) as citizens of India. No one should be worried about NRC as it is just a process to get everyone under it, he added. Clearing the air of citizenship row and the legal battle involved in it, the union minister said in Rajya Sabha today that people, whose names have not figured in the draft list, have the right to go to the Tribunal that will be constituted across Assam. If any person doesn’t have the money to approach the Tribunal, then the Assam government will bear the cost to hire a lawyer for the concerned person, he said.

The MHA told the Rajya Sabha that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill was introduced in Lok Sabha in 2016 and was referred to a joint committee of Parliament. The committee presented its report to Parliament on January 7, 2019, and was considered and passed in Lok Sabha on January 8, 2019. The Bill was pending for consideration of Rajya Sabha but consequent to the dissolution of 16th Lok Sabha the Bill has lapsed.

As many as 3,11,21,004 persons had been found eligible for inclusion in the final NRC list which was published on August 31, 2019. The names of 19,06,657 persons were left on the list.

Speaking on the NRC issue, Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said Assam state BJP and government are of the opinion that the NRC, which was prepared under the supervision of the Supreme Court by State Coordinator Prateek Hajela, has failed to fulfill the aspirations the people of Assam.

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