The Assam unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday said that it does not believe the final National Register of Citizens (NRC) to be published on August 31 would be error-free.
State BJP president Ranjeet Kumar Dass blamed a “whimsical” NRC Coordinator Prateek Hajela for preparing a citizenship document that excludes genuine Indians and includes foreigners.
“We are not happy with the way the NRC is being updated by Prateek Hajela who, despite the exercise being monitored by the Supreme Court, has been working as per his whims and under the influence of a couple of organisations. So be ready for an NRC that is full of names of foreigners and excludes many Indians,” Mr. Dass said on Monday.
The State BJP chief’s apprehension about the NRC is contrary to Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal’s statement on August 15 that the NRC would be a historical document that includes all genuine Indians and keeps foreigners out.
“There are names of families of martyrs of Assam Agitation (1979-85) who were excluded from the NRC while the NRC authorities engaged some suspected foreigners in the updating process.
“These point to a document that will be full of errors,” Mr. Dass said.
He said that the BJP has asked all its 40 lakh members in Assam to assist all genuine Indian citizens whose names might get excluded from the NRC. He also appealed to the party workers and the people of Assam not to spread any rumour and approach the Foreigners’ Tribunals if anyone’s name is excluded from the NRC.
“We cannot let any genuine Indian citizen to be kept out of the NRC. If needed, our party will demand legislation and amendment through the Assembly and Parliament to help excluded Indians out,” Mr. Dass said.
The NRC exercise began in 2013 and has cost the government more than ₹1,200 crore in these six years. “No Indian can be a victim of such an expensive exercise,” the State BJP president said.