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Will start NRC afresh after polls if Supreme Court allows, says Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma

Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sharma at a BJP meeting at Kalaigaon in Udalguri district on Friday.  

Assam will go for a fresh exercise to update the National Register of Citizens (NRC) after the 2021 State polls if the Supreme Court gives the nod, Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has said.

His assertion follows Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal’s meeting with Union Home Minister Amit Shah where the former reportedly sought 10-20% re-verification of the names figuring in the complete NRC draft published on August 31, 2019.

The Bharatiya Jatana Party-led coalition government in the State had rejected the NRC as having been manipulated by former NRC State Coordinator Prateek Hajela. The list had excluded 19 lakh of the 3.3 crore applicants for failing to provide admissible documents establishing their citizenship.

Addressing rallies in Udalguri district of the poll-bound Bodoland Territorial Council on Friday, Dr. Sarma said the BJP was firm on starting the NRC exercise afresh to weed out people of doubtful citizenship.

He had on Thursday told journalists that if given the opportunity, correcting the “fundamentally wrong” NRC over another five years would be enough to defeat the “modern Mughals,” a term the BJP has been using since the Congress and the Muslim-dominated All India United Democratic Front have been working on a pre-poll alliance.

“If the Supreme Court, which had monitored the NRC exercise, allows us, we will go for another exercise for an error-free list. We have already sought the apex court’s permission for re-verification of the names figuring in the NRC,” Dr. Sarma said.

The Assam government had in July 2019 petitioned the Supreme Court for re-verification of 20% of names in districts bordering Bangladesh and 10% in the other districts. The court did not accept the plea as Mr. Hajela told the court that 27% of the names had already been re-verified before the publication of the complete draft.

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Printable version | Jul 29, 2021 10:19:05 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/will-start-nrc-afresh-after-polls-if-sc-allows-assam-minister/article33043285.ece

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