New Delhi, Aug 3: The Government on Friday came clean on the recently released National Register for Citizens (NRC) for Assam that has evoked a mixed response in the country. Defending the NRC in Rajya Sabha, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said, “The procedure of NRC was started in 1985 through the Assam Accord when late Rajiv Gandhi ji was the PM. The decision to update was taken by Dr Manmohan Singh ji in 2005.” (Also read: Assam Governor Bats For NRC in Other States as Well)Also Read - Doctors Swim Half Kilometre To Save Patient In Flood-Hit West Bengal’s Udaynarayanpur Block

On the issue of about 40 Lakh people finding themselves out of the NRC, Singh reassured that it was a draft and not the final list. He added that it had to be done as it was a matter of national security. However, he said, that there would be no coercive action against anyone. “We will ensure that peace is not disturbed in Assam,” he said. Also Read - West Bengal School Reopening News: State Plans to Start Classes on Alternate Days After Durga Puja Vacations, Announces Mamata Banerjee

Singh said that attempts being made to create an atmosphere of fear were condemnable. He was probably referring to how the TMC has been protesting against the NRC. West Bengal Chief Minister and party chief Mamata Bannerjee has been extremely critical of the NRC. She went on to warn the Centre of a “bloodbath” and a “civil war” in the country over the NRC. (Also read: Blow to Mamata as Assam TMC Chief Resigns Over NRC) Also Read - West Bengal Lockdown: Cinema Halls Allowed To Reopen With 50% Capacity From Saturday | Details Here

Meanwhile, by recalling the Assam accord, Singh isn’t likely to earn any support from the Opposition. Only yesterday, former Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi had said, “The BJP is creating this problem. NRC draft is full of faults. On one side they are speaking of Assam Accord, however, on the other side they are speaking of Citizenship (Amendment) Bill and want to grant citizenship to immigrants. This is a contradiction,” he added.