The Congress today questioned the non-inclusion of over 40 lakh people in the complete draft of the NRC, saying revision of voters list in the ’90s had shown only 3.5 lakh ‘Doubtful’ or ‘D voters’, and alleged it was a “motivated” action under the BJP which was trying to play “politics of polarisation”. AIUDF president Badruddin Ajmal said 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.
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”. Assam Pradesh Congress President Ripun Bora expressed the hope 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. Welcoming publication of the 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 final draft released today lists 28,983,677 citizens in Assam. However, around 40 lakh people have been left out of the list.