July    2020

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Parties in Tripura favour NRC in the state, some with riders

Agartala, As an exercise to identify illegal immigrants is underway in Assam, all major political parties in the neighbouring Tripura favour its replication in this state too, although some put certain riders.

The major parties seeking introduction of National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Tripura include the ruling BJP, the Congress, Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and Meghalaya-based National People's Party (NPP), which was declared as a national party by the Election Commission last month.

Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT), Tripura's oldest tribal-based party, has already filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking NRC in Tripura.

Ruling BJP's junior ally Indigenous People's Front of Tripura (IPFT) has been campaigning for initiation of NRC in Tripura to check illegal infiltration and oust the foreigners.

The NRC exercise is being carried out in Assam under the directions and supervision of the Supreme Court.

Tripura Pradesh Congress President Pradyot Bikram Manikya Deb Barman said that NRC should be introduced in Tripura as per the mandate of the Constitution.

"NRC should not be introduced on religious basis. The government of India should declare National Refugee Policy. Before introducing the proposed Citizenship law, NRC should be enforced very judiciously," Deb Barman told IANS.

CPI-M central committee member and veteran tribal leader Jitendra Choudhury told IANS that his party supports the NRC but foreigners should be detected as per the Indira-Mujib Accord, 1971.

"Some parties are demanding introduction of NRC with a cut-off year 1952 but we are against this," said Choudhury, who was former Tripura Minister, Lok Sabha member and President of the Tripura Rajya Upajati Ganamukti Parishad, the frontal tribal organization of the CPI-M.

Tripura Pradesh BJP spokesman Nabendu Bhattacharjee said that if the central government introduces the NRC in the state, the party would welcome the move.

"Our party's top priority is to move out the illegal infiltrators from India. The illegal infiltrators are also a threat to the country's security and integrity," Bhattacharjee told IANS.

IPFT General Secretary and Tripura's Tribal Welfare Minister Mevar Kumar Jamatia said introduction of NRC has been "our prime demand" since 2009.

INPT General Secretary Jagadhish Debbarma said after his party filed writ petition before the Supreme Court in October last year, the apex court had served three notices to the central and state government but both the governments were yet to reply to these notices.

Tripura Congress' Vice-President Tapas Dey said Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb had last year and earlier this year opposed NRC in Tripura.

"Deb should clarify his stand now on NRC," Dey said.

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