GUWAHATI, Sept 16 - The Communist Party of India (CPI) has voiced its opposition to NRC Coordinator Prateek Hajela’s recent report to the Supreme Court suggesting that those left out of the draft NRC could submit any one of the 10 out of a total 15 documents mentioned in the List-A of the Centre’s draft Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for claims and objections, while dispensing with the remaining five documents.
Munin Mahanta, Assam unit secretary of CPI, said if the five documents mentioned by Hajela are removed from being used for NRC claims, it will create problems for lakhs of citizens to get their names included in the final NRC.
“We want all 15 documents which were used during the preparation of the draft NRC to be used for filing claims for the final NRC as well. Besides, we also believe that the process should be further simplified because there are lakhs of people in our State who are either very poor or illiterate or have no bank or financial documents or have lost their documents due to floods or other calamities. Such people should not be deprived of having their names included in the final NRC,” he said.
It is noteworthy that the Congress, the BJP, the CPI(M) and the AIUDF have already come out strongly against the suggestion made by Hajela before the apex court to dispense with five of the earlier used 15 documents during the claims and objections process.
“The 1951 NRC and the pre-1971 voters list are the main basis for updating the NRC. So, if those documents, among others, are removed from the list of documents to be used for claims and objections, the fate of lakhs of people will be at stake,” Mahanta added.
“We doubt whether Hajela gave the opinion to dispense with the five documents on his own. Was there any pressure or influence from the State government or the Central government in this regard?” said the CPI leader.
He accused the ruling BJP of adopting double standards on the issue.
“The Centre has time and again created hurdles in the NRC update process. BJP is the party which created a controversy by raising the matter of the original Inhabitants. If one looks at the stand taken by the BJP on the NRC, one will notice that it has changed quite a bit over time,” Mahanta said.
The Left leader also came out against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, and charged the BJP of trying to turn Assam into a dumping ground for foreigners.
“BJP wants to bring the non-Muslims of the neighbouring countries to Assam. If the Bill is adopted, the entire NRC process will become redundant,” he added.