Explained: The Assam BJP’s dilemma over final NRC list
Guwahati, Aug 30: As the D-day for the publication of final list of Assam National Register of Citizens (NRC) nears, there is a palpable sense of anxiety among people and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.
While the Centre has been in the forefront in support of National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam, the state leadership is not entirely satisfied with the manner in which the list is being updated.
The final NRC list, which will identify bonafide citizens of Assam, is set to be published on August 31. The exercise of updating the NRC, unique to Assam, is being conducted under the supervision of the Supreme Court.
Concerns over genuine citizens
The Assam unit of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has already spoken out against the NRC updation exercise. State president Ranjeet Kumar Dass, have gone on record to apprehend that the final NRC is unlikely to be "error-free".
Dass has blamed NRC coordinator Prateek Hajela, who has been working under the close supervision of the Supreme Court, for being "whimsical".
The party worry is that the names of many Assamese and Bengali Hindus who are genuine citizens of Assam, as well as descendants of freedom fighters and families of martyrs of the anti-foreigners' Assam Movement is being left out of the final NRC.
A large number of indigenous tribal's of the state will also be excluded from the final NRC.
BJP leaders allege that illegal Bangladeshi migrants have obtained citizenship documents fraudulently or submitted fake documents to get their names included in the NRC.
The Assam government has claimed that the percentage of people excluded from the draft National Register of Citizens was lower in districts bordering Bangladesh having a sizeable Muslim population than those where Hindus were in majority.
According to the list, the percentage of non-inclusion of names in districts bordering Bangladesh like South Salmara was 7.22, Dhubri 8.26 and Karimganj 7.67. On the other hand, exclusion rate in the districts such as Karbi Anglong (14.31%) and Tinsukia (13.25%) are higher than the average.
Non-border districts Hojai and Darrang have the highest non-inclusion rate at 32.99 per cent and 30.90 per cent respectively.
It is a matter of concern that the percentage of names excluded from the draft NRC is higher in the Bangladesh border districts compared to the rest of the state.
They claimed that the rate of exclusion of NRC applicants in the districts bordering Bangladesh was less than the state average - 12.15 per cent.
What is Assam NRC
The National Register of Citizens, 1951 is a register prepared after the conduct of the Census of 1951. It shows the house, holdings in a serial order and covers every person enumerated during the Census of 1951. Assam is the only state to have a National Register of Citizens (NRC).
In July last year, 40,07,707 people out of a total 3,29,91,384 applicants were excluded from the final draft of the NRC. An additional 1,02,462 persons were included in the list of excluded persons in June, taking the total ineligible persons to 41,10,169.