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Scrap previous NRC, will be part of pan-India NRC announced by Shah: said Himanta Sarma

Sarma said, “According to the home minister statement there will be an implementation of pan-India NRC after the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill,”

Guwahati: The state unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has Dismissed Assam NRC as an “unacceptable” document,  has welcomed Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s announcement of a pan-India National Register of Citizens (NRC) and said that Assam too should be a part of the national exercise.

Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who has all throughout maintained that the NRC published on August 31, 2019, is “not acceptable”, said that he had unofficially consulted the home minister over the NRC issue several times.

“NRC should be rejected and Assam should be a part of the national exercise of the same. Earlier, there was confusion on the acceptance of refugee certificates as proof of citizenship. We want the cut-off date to be the same across India and we are still discussing it. If it is 1971 — the year should be the same for the entire country,” Sarma added that the BJP does not demand the Assam Accord to be revised, but “would not object to a different cut-off date if it is beneficial for the state”.

On Wednesday the statement has come after Shah announced in the Rajya Sabha that the process of NRC will be implemented all over India clarifying there would be no discrimination on the basis of religion.

Sarma said, “According to the home minister statement there will be an implementation of pan-India NRC after the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill,”.

However, the opposition Congress chose to oppose the Centre’s plan to redo the NRC in Assam.

Rajya Sabha MP and Assam Pradesh Congress Committee chief Ripun Bora said “An amount of Rs 1,600 crore was spent on the NRC exercise and now they want to reject it. The former chief justice of India said the present NRC is a base document for the future, and people who raised objections they are playing with fire. We also believe the same,”.

Sarma said the NRC being a once again updating exercise would entail fund spending even in the future. “It is a continuous process like updating the electoral rolls. You have to keep spending money on updating the NRC,”.

Since the final NRC was published, Himanta Biswa Sarma chose to blame state NRC Coordinator Prateek Hajela for a “faulty document”, stating that the “Assam government is bearing the brunt of the wrongdoings of a single individual”.

“We are concerned with the flaws and the way the state NRC coordinator ran the process, the way he kept aside the state government. It was an opaque system and justice has not been done to any quarter,” said the finance minister, while making it clear that the Assam NRC has not been done completely.

Sarma added “Tet it has not been scrapped, and till the national NRC is established, the Assam NRC will hold ground. In the intervening period, if any individual is left out and wants to get their name included, we have to help them by creating an ecosystem. We have to arrange for the legal cost. We will set up foreigners’ tribunals at the doorstep, and people will no longer need to travel long distances. They will not be charged fees for filing applications.”

A total of 3,11,21,004 people were found eligible for inclusion in the final NRC and 19,06,657 were left out when the supplementary list of inclusion and exclusion status of applicants was published on August 31, 2019.

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