Centre not state can decide on NRC: CM
Concern over exclusion of state women in Assam list
SHILLONG: Chief Minister Conrad Sangma has said the state government has no legislative competence to make laws on National Register of Citizens (NRC) as the subject pertains to the central government.
He was replying to the short duration discussion on NRC during the Autumn Session of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly on Tuesday.
Sangma said that there are concerns about the fate of Residents Act in Meghalaya and ILP in Nagaland if Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) is introduced.
Congress MLA Mayralborn Syiem urged the government to look into the issues concerning the exclusion of genuine tribals and non-tribals from the state residing in Assam.
He observed that if an NRC like exercise is to be carried out in Shillong, the process of National People’s Register (NPR) has to be in place, for both bonafide and temporary residents.
Another Congress MLA PT Sawkmie said, “We want NRC not CAB.”
KHNAM legislator Adelbert Nongrum said the public representatives are more concerned about the next election and don’t care about the next generation.
He added that existing laws have failed in all aspects.
NCP MLA Saleng Sangma said he has written to the government about the entry of 32 households who are non-resident Muslims, yet they have EPIC and MHIS cards.
He said that he is 110 per cent sure that they do not belong to his constituency.
In his reply, the chief minister said he had spoken to his Assam counterpart on the exclusion of genuine citizens from NRC.
On the other hand, Opposition leader Mukul Sangma expressed concern that brides from Meghalaya, Nagaland and Bihar are made to feel like foreigners in Assam and added that this must be taken up seriously.
In addition, he said genuine citizens were excluded and said he had received calls from parents about their daughters who were married off to the sons of Assam.
Congress MLA Azad Zaman said several tribal and non-tribal women from Meghalaya, married in Assam, were left out from the NRC list.
Seeking the intervention of the state government, the Rajabala legislator said the documents submitted by Meghalaya women were rejected by Assam.
He pointed out that though the state government had verified the documents, Assam was not ready to accept them.
The MLA wanted the state government to ask Assam to submit the list of Meghalaya women who had already submitted the NRC documents as verified by the state government.
According to him, the women can withdraw their names and they can be included as and when an NRC is prepared for Meghalaya as there is a fear that the women from the state will be declared foreigners and will be sent to detention camps.
No to NRC
NPP MLA SG Esmatur Mominin said he does not subscribe to the NRC asserting that the government in Assam spent Rs 15,000-Rs 21,000 crore for its updation. He said that the motive behind the NRC was to deport members of some community in the name of Bangladeshis.
He maintained that before implementing NRC, the state has to look for precedents set by Assam where people are suffering and “we have to think twice before advocating NRC in the state.”
However, Mominin said he is against the CAB.