Sovereignty, citizenship soul of India, not imported vote banks: Jaitley on NRC

NEW DELHI: Union Minister Arun Jaitley today accused Congress President Rahul Gandhi and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of playing with India’s sovereignty on the Assam NRC issue, saying citizens are the soul of the nation and not “imported vote banks”.

In a hard-hitting Facebook post, Jaitley accused Rahul Gandhi of taking a fringe position with regard to the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam, which is contrarian to what was advocated by former Prime Ministers Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi.

The principal duty of any Government, Jaitley said, is to defend its borders, prevent any trespass and make the life of the country’s citizens safe and secure.

“It (Congress) is now compromising the sovereignty of India. Leaders like Rahul Gandhi and Mamata Banerjee must realise that India’s sovereignty is not a play thing.

“Sovereignty and citizenship are the soul of India. Imported vote banks are not,” Jaitley wrote in a post titled ‘National Register of Citizens – Sovereignty vs Vote Bank’.

Jaitley also accused the West Bengal Chief Minister of changing her position on the issue of Bangladeshi infiltration.

“Though Mrs Indira Gandhi and Mr Rajiv Gandhi took a particular position in 1972 and 1985 for the deletion and deportation of foreigners, Rahul Gandhi takes a contrarian position and his party turns turtle. (AGENCIES)