Guwahati, Aug 12: Former Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi on Sunday slammed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government for failing to nurse the National Register of Citizens (NRC) which he said was his “baby”. He said that due to the BJP’s failure, a defective draft was published with names of over 40 lakh people missing.

“The whole idea was conceived and given birth during my term in office. After I demitted office, the BJP failed to nurse my baby properly and as a result, a defective NRC draft was published with the names of over 40 lakh people missing,” he said.

The three-time chief minister also alleged that through NRC, the BJP was not interested in solving the problem of infiltration, but to use it as a poll agenda in the next Lok Sabha and state elections. “The BJP has always played politics with the foreigners issue on communal lines and is just not interested in solving the problem,” Gogoi said.

He further alleged that the infiltration issue always crops during elections and Prime Minister Narendra Modi not drive out the foreigners but is interested in bringing in more. “The BJP wants to keep the issue alive and so does its alliance partner AGP,” he said. The BJP, he said, will use it as a poll issue and will keep repeating it in the whole country.

“We will have to tell the people that this is the BJP’s poll strategy to divert attention from their all-round failure. The BJP always blamed the Congress for giving protection to the Bangladeshis, but the initiative to detect foreigners by updating the National Register of Citizens (NRC) was taken by me with the core objective to determine genuine Indian citizens,” he said.

The BJP, he said, plays politics on communal lines and they are doing the same in the case of identifying foreigners. “We do not play politics with such a sensitive issue. For the Congress, detection of foreigners is the primary objective and the persons religion does not come into the picture at all,” he said.

Out of a total of 3.29 crore applicants, 2.89 crore were declared eligible to be added in the complete NRC Assam draft and 40.07 lakh were left out in the NRC final draft which was published on July 30. Following the publication of the NRC Assam final draft, the Trinamool Congress had also alleged discrimination against the Biharis and Bengalis and moved an adjournment motion in the Lok Sabha.

After the NRC Assam final draft was published, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said that it is a “big mistake” PM Modi is making. “You are dividing people. Home Minister Rajnath Singh should make an amendment,” he said.

With PTI inputs