Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that the State government has rejected the present National Register of Citizens (NRC).
“The Assam government is extremely unhappy and has rejected the NRC. We want verification of 20 per cent of names in the border areas. If the Supreme Court accepts our demand, we (Assam) don’t need a national one,” Sarma said while addressing a presser in Guwahati on December 23rd, 2019.
He added, “The PM yesterday said there is no plan for a nation-wide NRC. Hence, we have to pursue the matter in the Supreme Court. If it does not listen to us, we will have to approach the Government of India.”
The state government had earlier submitted an affidavit in the top court appealing for re-verification of 20 per cent names in the draft NRC in border districts of Assam. However, the plea was rejected.
Sarma had earlier welcomed the Centre’s stand after Union Home Minister Amit Shah told the Parliament that the NRC will be implemented nationwide. He had said that Assam wants to be a part of the national NRC process.
However, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 22nd, 2019 shocked and surprised many when he said that there had been no discussion or talks on implementing the NRC across the country since his government came to power in 2014.
The Assam government officially released the final NRC list on August 31st, 2019, where names of 3,11,21,004 persons were found eligible and 19,06,657 persons were excluded from the list including those who did not submit claims.
Alleging “multi-crore irregularities” in the NRC, Sarma had earlier said that the present NRC process in Assam should be scrapped.
The Comptroller and Auditor General of India have detected financial irregularities to the tune of Rs 108 Crore in the recently updated Supreme Court-monitored NRC in the state.
Photo credit: @himantabiswa