40 lakh people out of Assam citizens’ list


Team Udayavani, Jul 31, 2018, 11:30 AM IST

Guwahati/New Delhi: A massive Supreme Court-monitored exercise to identify genuine Indian nationals living in Assam on Monday excluded over 40 lakh people from the final draft list, triggering a political slugfest.

The Opposition alleged that it was BJP’s “game plan” to divide the people for electoral gains. The issue rocked both houses of Parliament after which Home Minister Rajnath Singh appealed to the Opposition not to politicise the “sensitive” matter as the list has been published on the directives of the Supreme Court and the Centre has “no role” in it.

The ruling BJP in Assam had raised the issue of foreign nationals in Assam during the 2016 Assembly polls, promising an error-free NRC.

At a press conference in Guwahati, Registrar General of India Sailesh announced that 2.89 crore people were found to be eligible for inclusion in the complete draft of the ambitious draft NRC out of a total 3.29 crore applicants. Around 40.07 lakh applicants, however, did not find a place in the document, casting a shadow over their fate.

Soon after, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee hit out at the Centre, accusing it of resorting to vote bank politics.“This divide-and-rule policy will finish the country,” she said in Kolkata, alleging that it was a “game plan” to isolate and “throw out” Bengali-speaking people and Biharis from the state.

Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said it was a historic day for the state, which will abide by the directions of the apex court. Former Assam chief minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, who had spearheaded the six-year Assam agitation against foreigners and was a signatory to the historic Assam Accord, said the Centre “must deport people who have come after March 24, 1971, to their original country”.

Assam, which has witnessed an influx of people from neighbouring Bangladesh since the early 20th century, is the only state having an NRC, which was first prepared in 1951. The current NRC is being updated with March 24, 1971, as the cut-off date to include names of genuine Indian citizens.

Asked about the reasons for excluding names of around 40 lakh applicants, NRC state coordinator Prateek Hajela said, “We are not going to make the reasons public. It will be informed individually. They can find the reasons by visiting NRC Sewa Kendras.”

The Union Home Ministry announced that the final NRC list will be published by December 31, 2018.
 

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