New Delhi, Aug 2: Over 40 lakh people not included on the National Register of Citizens (NRC) Final Draft list, which was released on Monday, cannot be labelled as ‘ghuspethiye’ or infiltrators, Prateek Hajela, the NRC coordinator, was quoted as saying in a report. He added that nothing but a ‘judicial scrutiny’ can only establish whether or not a person can be called an illegal migrant. (ALSO READ – NRC Final Draft Released in Assam; What Next For 40 Lakh People Left Out?) Also Read - A Veteran Leader And Son of Soil, Tarun Gogoi Rebuilt Congress in Assam | Obituary
Adding that the 40 lakh people who have been excluded from the NRC Final Draft list still have a chance to prove their credentials, he said that there is a high possibility of ‘errors’ in the NRC draft as it was a ‘manual process’. While 2.89 crore people out of 3.29 were found to be eligible to be included in NRC Assam Final Draft list, touted to be a proof of Assamese identity, around 40 lakh names were left out. Also Read - Former Assam CM Tarun Gogoi Passes Away at 84 After Long Battle With Illness
Hajela’s remark came a day after Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah said that the aim of NRC is to identify those who have infiltrated into the Indian border illegally. Also Read - Former Assam CM Tarun Gogoi Extremely Critical, Condition Deteriorates Further: GMCH Doctors
On the other hand, Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat has confirmed that non-inclusion of the name in the NRC final list, which is scheduled to be published in December this year, would not mean ‘automatic removal’ from voter list in Assam, a report said. In an interview, he said that the voters, despite their name not being included in the final NRC, will continue to remain on the state’s electoral roll. But for it, they will have to prove to the Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) that they are a citizen of India, are at least 18 years old on January 2019 and are an ordinary resident in the Assembly constituency they want to enroll.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Tuesday told the Centre that no authority will take any coercive action against the 40 lakh people who have been excluded from the list of valid citizens in the final draft of the NRC of the state.
On the other hand, the slugfest over Assam’s National Register of Citizens (NRC) is taking the shape of a pre-poll battle between the BJP and opposition parties.
While West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee spent Wednesday meeting top leaders from other political parties, including Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut and BJP rebels Kirti Azad and Yashwant Sinha in New Delhi over Assam NRC issue, BJP president Amit Shah has decided to take the battle to Mamata’s home turf with a rally in Kolkata on August 11 amid indications from his party leaders that they will make it a poll issue and seek an Assam-like NRC there.
The first draft of the NRC for Assam was published in December end as per the top court’s direction. It was published on the intervening night of December 31 and January 1 where names of 1.9 crore people out of the 3.29 crore applicants were incorporated.
Assam, which had faced influx of people from Bangladesh since the early 20th century, is the only state having an NRC, which was first prepared in 1951.