GUWAHATI: Both the ruling and opposition benches of the Assam Legislative Assembly expressed concern over the issue that around 27 lakh people cannot get Aadhaar cards due to NRC-related issues.
Under Rule 54, AIUDF MLA Aminul Islam (Jr.) raised the issue in the House to draw the attention of the government to it. On behalf of the Chief Minister, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pijush Hazarika also termed the issue a serious one.
Islam said, “Around 27 lakh people in Assam have no Aadhaar cards as their biometrics taken at the time of ‘claims and objections during the NRC update’ are locked up. It has deprived such people of the benefits of various government schemes. They even cannot open accounts at any banks. The government should do something tangible on this serious matter.”
In his reply, Hazarika said, “The government is equally serious about around 27 lakh people in the state not getting Aadhaar cards. This issue is directly related to the NRC update, and the NRC case is sub-judice with the Supreme Court of India. The Cabinet sub-committee had a discussion with all stakeholders, including the AASU, to find a way out. The meeting reached a consensus to provide some sort of document to make them eligible for government benefits. We have informed the Government of India of the consensus reached on the matter. We are waiting for the central government’s response. We cannot resolve a sub-judice matter.”
The opposition members then suggested to the government to file an affidavit before the Supreme Court, praying for a direction to provide an alternative Aadhaar card to the around 27 lakh people so as to make them avail of benefits of various government schemes.
The minister agreed to the opposition’s suggestion and said, “The government will consider it.”