Reject NRC list in Assam: Himanta Biswa Sarma to Centre
New Delhi, Nov 20
On the day Union Minister Amit Shah said NRC will be carried out across the country, including Assam, State Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma appealed to the Centre to reject the updated NRC list.
Sarma said that the current NRC cannot be accepted by the State Government because it was ‘erroneous’ and had ‘wrongful exclusions and inclusions.’
“Assam Government cannot accept this NRC. People who should not have been included in the NRC, have been included. And those who should have been included, have been excluded,” he said during a press conference in Guwahati.
He also requested Shah to have one national NRC with one cut off date. “Cut off for the entire country should be same, there should not be two cut-off dates. If 1971 is the cut-off, then it should be the same for the country,” he said. Though, Sarma did not specify what should the cut-off be.
He also said that in absence of a pan-India NRC, a suspected ‘illegal foreigner’ excluded from the NRC in Assam could move to another State and start living as an Indian citizen.
“If we remove an individual from Assam through NRC as a ‘foreigner’, he might go and get his name included in Kolkata’s voters’ list.
He will become an Indian citizen. We are saying all ‘foreigners’ should be sent out from India, not only Assam,” he said.
Earlier today, Shah, in Rajya Sabha, said that the NRC process will be carried out again in Assam along with the rest of the country, and assured Parliament that “all citizens of India”, irrespective of religion, will figure in the list.
“NRC has no such provision which says that certain religions will be excluded from it. All citizens of India irrespective of religion will figure in the NRC list. The NRC is different from Citizenship Amendment Bill,” said Shah in the upper House. Strongly criticising the earlier NRC State Coordinator Prateek Hajela, the Minister alleged that the entire exercise of updation was carried out keeping aside the State Government. “But the entire Nation thinks that NRC was updated by the Assam Government. We are bearing the brunt because of one individual. We are concerned with the flaws in the system,” Sarma was quoted as saying by news agency PTI. “The way Hajela ran the show under a different ecosystem, it has created multiple layers of questions. As a public representative, we are unable to answer them now,” Sarma added.
Hajela, 50, a 1995-batch IAS officer of Assam-Meghalaya cadre, led the NRC preparation exercise as the State coordinator since 2013. In October, he was transferred to Madhya Pradesh on Supreme Court’s order. The Assam Government subsequently appointed Hitesh Dev Sarma, an Assam Civil Service officer of 1989 batch, in an order dated November 9, as the NRC State coordinator. The NRC exercise took place following a Supreme Court order in December 2014 for a time-bound preparation, and thereafter under the Court’s direct monitoring. As earlier reported, the BJP grapples to deal with the political fallout of the NRC, which has created a panic following the exclusion of 19 lakh people from the citizenship list in Assam, most of them Hindus.
On the day the final NRC was published, State BJP president Ranjit Dass had said that the exclusion figure was lower than Government estimates of illegal foreigners in the State, while “sons of soil” and genuine citizens were excluded. The Indian Express