The Congress today questioned the non-inclusion of over 40 lakh people in the complete draft of the NRC and alleged it was a "motivated" action by the BJP which was trying to play "politics of polarisation".
The Congress today questioned the non-inclusion of over 40 lakh people in the complete draft of the NRC and alleged it was a “motivated” action by the BJP which was trying to play “politics of polarisation”.
Former Assam Chief Minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, who had spearheaded the six-year-long Assam agitation against foreigners and was a signatory to the historic Assam Accord, told PTI that the central government “must deport people, who have come after March 24, 1971, to their original country”.
AIUDF president Badruddin Ajmal said exclusion of 40 lakh people was “not a small matter” and the party will provide assistance to all people whose names did not feature in the draft to ensure that no genuine Indian citizen is left out. He however, added that everyone should wait for the final list.
Assam PCC President Ripun Bora hoped that the Centre would implement in letter and spirit Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s statement that no genuine citizen would be left out.
“Intensive revision of voters list in 1995 and 1997 had shown only 3.5 lakh ‘Doubtful’ or D voters. It is not clear how another 36.5 lakh people were dropped (in the complete draft of NRC),” Bora said after release of complete draft of the NRC.
The non-inclusion of over 40 lakh applicants is “motivated and we will help those whose names are not there in the list seek legal redress”, he said.
Veteran Assam Congress leader and former chief minister Tarun Gogoi said that 40 “is a big figure” and he feared that most of them are “genuine” Indian citizens.
Many people had expected that a correct NRC draft will be published, but that has not been done, he said adding the BJP government in the state has not given any actual figure of foreigners in Assam till today.
“In my opinion most of those whose names have been excluded are genuine Indian citizens and in this list people across communities have been excluded including many Hindus and Bengali speaking people,” Gogoi told PTI here.
The BJP government, he said, is saying that those excluded from the NRC need not fear and would be allowed to file claims and corrections. “This proves that BJP itself admits that genuine Indians are being excluded because if they are foreigners why are they being allowed to file claim when they should be identified and corrective action be taken”.
He claimed the “double standards” of BJP have been “exposed” as they first said that they will protect Hindu Bengalis but are “now targeting even those among them who were part of pre-1971 India”.
“Unfortunately NRC’s original objective remains unfulfilled even after crores of rupees being spent in updating it”, he said.
He claimed that Union Minister Rajnath Singh is now trying to shift the blame of the “weak implementation” to the Supreme Court. “It is shameful as the Supreme Court has never directed that genuine Indian citizens be harassed.”
Welcoming the publication of the complete draft, Mahanta said names of genuine Indian citizens should be there.
This was not the final NRC and “we should wait for the final publication of the NRC”, he said.
AIUDF’s Ajmal also welcomed release of the draft NRC but said non-inclusion of over 40 lakh people “is not a small matter though we must take into account that this is not the final NRC and we must wait for it”.
“We are yet to analyse the names of people left out and the areas where it has happened. If we find out that some particular areas have been targeted, we will make a decision on it,” he told PTI.
“We have always wanted Assam to be free from foreigners,” he said.
All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) General Secretary Lurinjyoti Gogoi said the draft publication is “a historic moment after the signing of the Assam Accord”.
“The publication is one step forward towards ensuring a foreigners-free Assam and we are satisfied with the outcome so far,” he said.
Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) Advisor Akhil Gogoi also welcomed the publication of the draft and assured legal help to genuine Indian citizens.
“The names of genuine Indian citizens should be included and if the names of foreigners have been included, then they should be deleted,” he added.
The National Register of Citizens (NRC) is a record of all legal citizens of a state and the first for Assam was created in 1951. It is being updated under the Supreme Court supervision with March 24, 1971 as the cut-off date for genuine Indian citizens in Assam.
The first draft of the ongoing NRC process was released at the midnight of December 31, 2017. It comprised 1.9 crore names out of the total application of 3.29 crore people in Assam. The complete draft released today lists 28,983,677 citizens in Assam. Around 40 lakh people have been left out of the list.