New Delhi, Aug 1: The final draft of Assam’s National Register of Citizens (NRC), touted to be a proof of Assamese identity, was released on Monday amid tight security. While 2.89 crore people out of 3.29 were found to be eligible to be included in the list, around 40 lakh names were left out. Does that mean that the ones who do not feature on the NRC final draft list will be deprived of their voting rights? The decision on the same, as per a report, will be taken by the Election Commission once the NRC process gets completed. (ALSO READ – NRC Final Draft Released in Assam; What Next For 40 Lakh People Left Out?) Also Read - Rajya Sabha Elections Deferred in Wake of COVID-19 Outbreak
Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat has confirmed that non-inclusion of the name in the NRC final list would not mean ‘automatic removal’ from voter list in Assam, a report said. In a interview, a day after the draft NRC was published, Rawat 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. They must be able to submit ‘sufficient documents’ for the same. Also Read - Coronavirus: Assam Reports First COVID-19 Case, 4-year-old Tests Positive in Jorhat
Rawar believes that the EC, before Lok Sabha Elections 2019, will have to decide the fate of those who are not on the final NRC list nor have challenged their exclusion in the court. Also Read - ‘Election Commission Not in Favour of State Funding of Elections,’ Anurag Thakur Tells Lok Sabha
The final list of the NRC will be published by December this year.
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.
Mamata, Shah Faceoff Over NRC Final Draft List
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, while accusing the Modi government of trying to make millions of people “stateless” in Assam for political gains, warned that exclusion of 4 million people from NRC in Assam could lead to “bloodbath” and a “civil war” in the country.
“The NRC is being done with a political motive. We will not let this happen. They (BJP) are trying to divide the people. The situation cannot be tolerated. There will be a civil war, blood bath in the country,” she said.
On the other hand, BJP President Amit Shah strongly rejected her charges saying that the TMC chief is “dangerously trying to mislead” the people of the country. “The threat of civil war has already once divided the country. What is she trying to say? TMC should come forward and clear its stand,” he said.
Shah also asked other opposition parties to clear their stand on the issue. “All parties should clarify their stand – in a clear yes on no – on the issue of illegal Bangladeshi immigrants in the country,” he said. The BJP president asserted that NRC will be implemented in Assam “to the last full stop” as his party stands for national security and Indians’ rights.
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.