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“Ready for fresh NRC exercise after 2021 polls”, says Himanta Biswa Sarma

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Guwahati: Assam Finance, Health, and Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma today said that the State Government is willing to look into compiling a fresh National Register of Citizens (NRC) after alleged discrepancies in the final draft released on August 31, 2019. The Minister said that another NRC exercise could be conducted if the Supreme Court gives the nod.

Taking potshots at the former NRC Coordinator Prateek Hajela, Sarma said, “The NRC made by Hajela is fundamentally flawed. After the election, a fresh NRC exercise will be undertaken if the Supreme Court permits so. We are seeking a revision of 15%.”

Commenting on the NRC exercise that was published last year, Sarma said that the State Government was completely excluded from the process. “Hajela misled the people and convinced everyone that he was doing the right thing. Nobody could question his motives after that Things came to such a state that the Chief Minister had to wait for several days to gain an audience with Hajela.”

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The motive behind this, Sarma claimed, was corruption. “From head to toe, he (Hajela) looted a lot of money. The matter is being scrutinized at the Accountant General level.”

Speaking about the upcoming elections in Assam, Sarma said that the BJP party is still heading towards winning 100 Seats in the upcoming polls.

The final updated NRC for Assam, published 31 August 2019, contained 31 million names out of 33 million population. It left out about 1.9 million applicants, who seem to be divided roughly equally between Bengali Hindus, Bengali Muslims, and other Hindus from various parts of India.
Many organizations -such as the Assam Public Works (APW), the original petitioners — have demanded a re-verification of the NRC.

Moreover, allegations have been raised that while Hajela’s NRC included the names of illegal foreigners, genuine citizens (including indigenous tribals) have been left out. APW President Aabhijeet Sharma has also alleged that the current version of the NRC includes the names of several ‘jihadis’ who have crossed over from Bangladesh.

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