Guwahati: The Assam Public Works (APW), the original petitioner in the Supreme Court which led to the updation of the National Register of Citizens (NRC), called for a cleansing of the voters' rolls of foreigners' names before elections are held in Assam.
"Just like the BTAD elections have been postponed due to the corona, 100% re-verification of the NRC must also be done, and the names of illegal foreigners must be axed and a new voter list should be presented wherein only legal Indian citizens shall be allowed to vote. This entire process can be finished within 6 months. If not, the upcoming 2021 election should be postponed", Sarma said. "From 1985 onwards, it has been proven that the names of Bangladeshis have been included in the voter list which led to the Assam Agitation. Thus, the voter lists are in a thorough need of cleansing Indians so can vote for Indians."
Sarma told The Sentinel Digital, "There is a simple procedure that can be done to ensure there is no foul play during the polls. Firstly, a 100% verification of the NRC must be done. Secondly, a new voters' list has to be prepared. Thirdly, the election can be conducted. This process, if done nicely, will take about 6 months. It is absolutely necessary to do this as the NRC, as it stands, is zero."
Claiming that the final NRC published last year on this very date, ended up paving the way for illegal foreigners to gain Indian citizenship, the Assam Public Works' President Aabhijeet Sarma said that a case had been filed in the Supreme Court to exclude the names of Bangladeshis from the voting rolls. "Filing a case number 274/2009 in the apex court, we had argued that in the 2006 voter list, there are as many as 41 lakh Bangladeshis. We demanded that these voters should be excluded from the rolls."
Taking potshots at the Congress and its appointment of IAS Prateek Hajela as the NRC coordinator, Sarma said this decision was taken for the purpose of "corruption" and also to ensure the inclusion of illegal foreigners in the citizens' list.
"We had claimed that names of Bangladeshi citizens had been included, and demanded re-verification," Sarma said, reiterating a long-pending demand of the body. The APW leader rued that no steps have been taken to do a proper re-verification of the NRC, despite the organization's repeated pleas to the Supreme Court.
Casting aspersions on the purity of the NRC, Sarma claimed that in the document that was published, as many as 80 lakh foreigners' names (which includes the names of jihadis), have been included. He further claimed the embezzlement of funds amounting to crores in the entire process.
Meanwhile, the Assam Public Works has 'refused' to accept the final NRC without adding the re-verification of the names. Claiming that the result of the NRC will new NRC will be "zero", Sarma further went on to add that "flaws" in the system will ensure the failure of the citizens' list.
The Assam Public Works President further went on to add that of the 19 lakh people who were left out of the final draft of the NRC, 3.9 lakh are indigenous sons-of-the-soil who did not register their names. The rest will approach the foreigner tribunal courts, and their names will be cleared, claimed Sarma.
It needs mention here that the much-talked-about National Register of Citizens or NRC in Assam has virtually gone into oblivion since the publication of the last list.
Groups and organizations, which had fought for an error-free NRC, are livid that a process, which was supposed to have begun after the publication of the final list, has been put into the cold storage.