Representational image.

The final National Register of Citizens (NRC) published on August 31 in Assam this year is a passé. Get set for another rigorous process of updating the NRC, which will be a part of a nationwide exercise.

Assam finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Wednesday welcomed the statement made by union home minister Amit Shah in the Rajya Sabha saying that there will be a pan India NRC and Assam will naturally be a part of it.

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“The Assam government, as well as the state BJP, has not accepted the NRC published on August 31,” Sarma said while addressing the media.

“Names of doubtful citizens made it to the NRC while there are genuine citizens who were left out,” he added.

“We have urged the home minister in this regard and we are happy the there will be a new NRC and Assam will be a part of it,” Sarma reiterated.

Sarma said that there have been informal talks within the state BJP and the government in this regard and that Amit Shah only made it official on Wednesday in the Rajya Sabha.

Sarma said that the BJP, as well as the government, believes that there should be one NRC for the entire country with one cut off date.

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“There should be one cut off date for the whole country. We are not saying that it has to be 1951 or 1971—whatever it is it should be the same for the entire country,” Sarma reiterated.

The minister further said no one is happy with the present NRC.

Apart from the BJP and the government, he said the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and Assam Public Works (APW) have also expressed their unhappiness over the NRC.

The final NRC in Assam was published on August 31 this year, from which the names of over 19 lakh people were excluded.

Although there is no official confirmation about the cost incurred, an estimated amount of Rs 1500 crore have been spent so far on the mammoth exercise that continued for last six years and witnessed the involvement of over 50,000 officials of the state government.

When asked if the expenditure incurred so far over the NRC is a wastage, the minister only said that money cannot be a consideration when the question is on national interest.

“The new NRC which will be a pan India exercise and it will be done by the government of India and not by Assam government,” he said.