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Assam Cong rubbishes WikiLeaks cable claims on foreigners’ issue

Guwahati, Aug 4 (UNI) After a purported WikiLeaks cable quoted then-Congress national chief Sonia Gandhi of supporting illegal migrants in Assam, the party today rubbished the allegation as a tactic to take away credit from the Congress for its role in an updated National Register of Citizens for Assam, which is viewed as an important document to detect illegal foreigners.
“Now that the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has acknowledged on the floor of the Rajya Sabha that Late Rajiv Gandhi paved the way and Dr. Manmohan Singh did the bulk of the work for the NRC in Assam, the dirty tricks department of the BJP has crawled out of the woodwork,” Leader of Opposition in Assam Assembly Debabrata Saikia said in a statement here.
He alleged that in its desperate bid to put a question mark against the Congress’s positive role in smoothening the path for detection of illegal migrants in Assam, some specialist in misinformation has publicized this dubious WikiLeaks cable of 2006.
The purported cabled quoted an anonymous Kolkata-based US Consulate officer as having reported that Sonia Gandhi had assured minorities at an election rally in Assam in May, 2006 that the Congress would amend the Foreigners Act to “prevent deportation of illegal Bangladeshi immigrants”.
Saikia pointed that there was no election rally in May 2006 as the state polls were held in April that year and results declared on May 11, 2006, and said, “So there can be no question of Gandhi, or any other leader for that matter, addressing an election rally in Assam in May, 2006.”
He, however, added that Gandhi had addressed an election rally at Nehru Bali in Nagaon on April 6, 2006, in which she talked about changes being affected by the UPA government in the Foreigners (Tribunals) Order, 1964, to ensure prevention of harassment of minorities as suspected foreigners.
“Keeping in view the fate suffered by people such as Subrat Dey, Ganesh Das, Bishnu Prasad Khanal, Abu Taher and Md. Rafikul Islam (both grandnephews of the first Deputy Speaker of the Assam Legislative Assembly, Moulavi Muhammad Amiruddin) in recent times, is it fair or logical to fault Gandhi for having displayed foresight at that point?,” Saikia added.
UNI SG RN
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