New Delhi: BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav said people excluded from the final list of Assam-specific National Register of Citizens would be de-franchised and deported to their country, while Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal suggested that the National Register of Citizens (NRC) be implemented across India.
“The NRC will ensure the detection of all illegal immigrants. The next step will be delete – means deletion of names of illegal immigrants from voters list and deprive them from all government benefits. The next stage will be deportation,” Madhav said, speaking at an event on the NRC.
He said the citizen’s register is being updated as part of the ‘Assam Accord’ signed in 1985 under which the government had made a commitment to “detect, delete and deport” all illegal immigrants from the state.
Chief Minister Sonowal said genuine citizens of India would get adequate opportunities to prove their citizenship and include their names in the final list of the NRC.
“The NRC should be implemented in all states. This is a document which can protect all Indians. Those who will be excluded from the NRC in Assam can go to other states. So we will have to take strong step,” he said at the seminar, organised by think-tank ‘Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini’.
The update of the NRC, a Supreme Court-monitored exercise to identify genuine Indian nationals living in Assam, excluded more than 40 lakh people from the draft list published on July 30, triggering a political controversy.
Ram Madhav said no country in the world tolerates illegal immigrants but India has become a “dharamshala” (lodge) for illegal immigrants due to political considerations.
He said the country’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, after realising the enormity of the problem of illegal immigrants in Assam, had enacted a state-specific law in the 1950s to expel foreigners.
“Nehru’s great-grandson should read the history and extend support to detect and deport illegal immigrants from Assam,” he said, referring to Congress president Rahul Gandhi.
The exercise aimed at identifying illegal immigrants in the state that borders Bangladesh was carried out in Assam following a decision in 2005 after a series of meetings between the central and state governments and the influential All Assam Students’ Union (AASU).
Assam, which faced influx of people from Bangladesh since the early 20th century, is the only state having an NRC, first prepared in 1951.
The current exercise, started in 2005 under then Congress government, got a major push after the BJP came to power in the state with illegal immigration from Bangladesh as a poll plank.
When the NRC was first prepared in Assam in 1951, the state had 80 lakh citizens then.
As per 2011 census, Assam’s total population is over 3.11 crore. The process to identify illegal immigrants in Assam has been widely debated and become a contentious issue in the state’s politics.
A six-year agitation demanding identification and deportation of illegal immigrants was launched by AASU in 1979.
It culminated with the signing of the ‘Assam Accord’ on August 15, 1985, in the presence of then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
‘Indians obese but hunger a concern,’ says UN report
New Delhi: More Indians are becoming obese while the number of undernourished people in country has declined, according to a report by the UN that said that globally over 820 million people are suffering from hunger.
The report titled “State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2019” was issued by the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
The report said that an estimated 820 million people across the world did not have enough to eat in 2018, up from 811 million in the previous year, which is the third year of increase in a row, underscoring the immense challenge of achieving the Sustainable Development Goal of Zero Hunger by 2030.
In India, the number of undernourished people declined from 253.9 million in 2004-06 to 194.4 million in 2016-18. However, the number of adults (18 years and older) who are obese grew from 24.1 million in 2012 to 32.8 million in 2016. The number of children (under 5 years of age) who are overweight stood at 2.9 million in 2018.
In percentage terms, prevalence of undernourishment in the total population in India was 22.2 per cent in 2004-06 and 14.5 per cent in 2016-18. Prevalence of wasting in children (under 5 years of age) was 20.8 per cent in 2018, while the prevalence of obesity in the adult population was 3 per cent in 2012, increasing to 3.8 per cent in 2016.
The report said that globally, hunger is increasing in many countries where economic growth is lagging, particularly in middle-income countries and those that rely heavily on international primary commodity trade.
The annual UN report also found that income inequality is rising in many of the countries where hunger is on the rise, making it even more difficult for the poor, vulnerable or marginalised to cope with economic slowdowns and downturns. “We must foster pro-poor and inclusive structural transformation focusing on people and placing communities at the centre to reduce economic vulnerabilities and set ourselves on track to ending hunger, food insecurity and all forms of malnutrition,” the UN report said.
It noted that poverty rates have declined between 3 per cent and 6 per cent per year in El Salvador, Ghana, India, Tunisia and Uganda.
The report said that the impacts of economic slowdowns on food security and nutrition are demonstrated in Haiti, Nepal and the Niger. Amid a global financial crisis coupled with high food prices, households’ food security, as measured by dietary diversity, reduced by 5 per cent in Nepal, 8 per cent in the Niger, and 23 per cent in Haiti due to increased food prices.
In the Indian Himalayas, economic slowdown coupled with natural resource depletion and climate change negatively impacted on food production and employment opportunities. This resulted in increased threats to food security due to lower purchasing power, it added. The report also took note of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS). “Unlike the previous cases, the MGNREGS was not designed to address employment problems arising from an economic downturn,” it said.
Yeddyurappa plays cricket with legislators in Bengaluru
Bengaluru: As the focus shifted to the Supreme Court, which is hearing the pleas of 15 Karnataka MLAs against alleged delay by the Speaker in accepting their resignations, the state BJP President BS Yeddyurappa was seen in a relaxed mood playing cricket with party legislators who are camped at a resort on the outskirts of the city.
Yeddyurappa, who had been busy in hectic meetings with senior party colleagues and legislators strategising as the wobbly coalition government headed by Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy is on the brink of collapse, Tuesday spent most part of the day at a resort near Yelahanka.
Later in the day, BJPs state unit media cell released a photo of Yeddyurappa playing cricket with party MLAs Renukacharya and SR Vishwanath, among others.
He was seen batting.
After over a week long heightened political activity in the city, it was relatively a calm on Tuesday with the focus shifting to the Supreme Court.
The top court will pronounce its order Wednesday morning on the pleas of 15 rebel Congress-JD(S) MLAs seeking direction for Speaker Ramesh Kumar to accept their resignations from the Assembly.
The order from the top court will come a day before the Congress-JD(S) government faces the floor test in the assembly, which would end suspense over the numbers game triggered by a raft of resignations by the ruling coalition lawmakers.
As many as 16 MLAs — 13 from the Congress and three from JD(S) — have resigned while two independent MLAs S Shankar and H Nagesh have withdrawn their support to the coalition government, keeping it on the edge.
In a bid to keep their flock together ahead of the floor test, the Congress, BJP and JD(S) have shifted their MLAs to resorts.
The Congress shifted its MLAs from a hotel in the city to a resort on the outskirts, amid fears that some more legislators may resign.
Buzz in Congress that Priyanka should take over as party presidentship
New Delhi: The Congress Working Committee which has been unable to arrive at a consensus on Rahul Gandhi’s replacement is unlikely to meet this week to appoint their new chief. However, AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi’s name is being murmured for the post of party president.
Priyanka’s name has not been pushed openly because Rahul Gandhi had said that the party should find someone other than a member of the Gandhi family for the post.
He made the statement on May 25 during the CWC meet while conveying his decision to step down from the post.
Former Union minister Sriprakash Jaiswal told Indian Express: “But many people are saying now. I, too, believe Priyankaji should become the Congress president. She belongs to the Gandhi family. She is a leader and has the quality to lead the party. She is dynamic.”
Jaiswal said that Priyanka would be a good option and her name has not been said openly as people are hesitant because of Rahul’s statement of finding a non-Gandhi for the post.
Adding support to nominate Priyanka Gandhi’s name, three-time former Lok Sabha MP Bhakta Charan Das said that “leaders will demand Priyanka ji in the absence of Rahul Gandhi.” He said that if Rahul does not take back his resignation, Priyanka should take the post of party president and party should propose her name.
“Enough delay has happened. We should find a leader who is acceptable to everyone. And the leader should have a positive imprint in the minds of every worker and voter. Age should also be a factor. Age and popularity both. The next Congress president should not be very old. And that person should be hardworking just like Rahul Gandhi was,” Das added.
According to sources, the CWC may consider accepting Rahul Gandhi’s resignation and opt for internal elections to pick a replacement. They also added that it may empower the party’s general secretaries and state-in-charges to take decision during the interim period.
This push for Priyanka, however, comes at a time when senior leaders fear that she may not have the kind of acceptability in the party that her brother still has.
Sources said many leaders did not like her remarks at the CWC meeting in May. During the meeting, Priyanka said that those who “murdered” the party were sitting in the room.