Foreigners in voters’ list
BY Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, March 26: The Assam Sanmilita Mahasangha has filed a writ petition in the Gauhati High Court seeking suspension of the upcoming assembly elections, claiming that the electoral rolls in Assam are not foreigner-free.
"Assam is yet to get foreigner-free electoral rolls. Holding of elections through the existing rolls will be against the Constitution," petitioner Matiur Rahman said.
A division bench of Chief Justice Ajit Singh and Justice Manjit Bhuyan will conduct a hearing on the admissibility of the petition on March 28.
Rahman cited Article 326 of the Constitution according to which only Indian citizens are entitled to be registered as voters in elections to the Lok Sabha and the legislative assemblies. He also quoted the Representation of the People Act 1950.
"The Constitution says only bofide Indian citizens can vote in elections in India. But Assam is yet to have a foreigner-free voters list. So it is not right to hold elections at this stage," Rahman said, also referring a statement by the then Home Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal that there could be some 50 lakh Bangladeshis in Assam.
In his petition, Rahman also pointed out that the Assam government, in an affidavit filed at the High Court in a 2008 PIL filed by the Mahasangha, had contended that the delimitation work in the State should not be done till the NRC is updated.