With 40 lakh people failing to get their names on the draft National Register for Citizens (NRC) in Assam, the poll panel today said an exclusion from this list would not automatically result in their removal from the electoral rolls as registration of voters is decided by the election laws. “This is a draft NRC. After this, in the next one month all these 40 lakh individuals will be informed about the reasons why their names were not included. Thereafter they can file their claims and objections and after decision on the claims, final list of NRC will be published,” Chief Election Commissioner O P Rawat told PTI here.
The CEC said the chief electoral officer of Assam will give a factual report in the coming week on various aspects arising out of the publication of the final draft NRC. He said people excluded from the NRC would not be automatically removed from the electoral rolls of Assam as registration as a voter governed by 3 criteria as under the Representation of the People Act, 1950.
First they need to be citizen of India, secondly they should be above 18 years of age on January 1 of the year of enrolment, and third, they should ordinarily be a resident of the legislative assembly constituency in which enrolment as a voter is sought. People will have to satisfy the electoral registration officers that they are citizens of India to be part of the voter list and they can use documents available with them to support their claim.
The EC voter enrolment exercise is independent of the NRC, though authorities responsible for the two lists are working in sync. “The EC, with its objective of ‘no voter to be left behind’, has asked CEO Assam to coordinate closely with State Coordinator NRC so as to ensure that all eligible persons are included in Electoral Roll during Summary Revision 2019. This way a final Electoral Roll will be published on January 4 , 2019 to be used for general elections 2019,” Rawat had said yesterday.
The complete draft of the NRC, published earlier this week, in Assam has included 2,89,83,677 people out of a total 3,29,91,384 applicants. Names of around 40.07 lakh applicants did not figure in the document.