Prafulla Kumar Mahanta
File photo of former Assam CM Prafulla Kumar Mahanta with his wife Dr Jayashree Goswami Mahanta.

Former Assam chief minister Prafulla Kr Mahanta said the ruling BJP cannot scrap the National Register of Citizens (NRC) update process in Assam.

“The BJP can’t scrap the ongoing NRC update process in Assam as the process is going on under the direct initiative and supervision of the Supreme Cour,” said Mahanta during his Silchar visit.

Prafulla Mahanta arrived at Silchar on Friday on a two-day tour along with his wife Jayashree Goswami Mahanta.

Talking to the media at the circuit house, former CM Mahanta said, “As far as I know the state government was focused on the Barak valley and lower Assam in regards to the NRC.”

“However, in both these areas, the number of people missing out from the final NRC list has not stirred up the hornet’s nest, for which, the question does not arise of the NRC to be scrapped,” he added.

On being asked whether he is happy with the final NRC list with non-inclusion of 19 lakh names, Mahanta said, “Whether I am happy or unhappy is not important as the whole update process has been materialized under the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.”

The final NRC list was published on August 31, 2019.

Also read: Assam gets its updated NRC…finally; 19,06,657 excluded from final list

“If there is any fault in the final list then the state government has to bear the brunt of it as all the personnel and resources for the NRC process were handled by the state government employees,” said Mahanta.

Mahanta also said, “The ruling BJP has to understand that an error-free NRC cannot be done in the name of Hindus or Muslims.”

Also read: Prafulla Mahanta terms NRC a milestone

“Those names, which have been left out despite being genuine Indian citizens, need to be incorporated in the final list, fighting out through a legal battle,” said senior Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) leader Mahanta.

AGP is the partner in the BJP-led coalition government in Assam.

The media persons also asked Mahanta about his comment on the Citizens Amendment Bill (CAB), which the BJP wants to pass in the Parliament.

The CAB, 2016 was passed in Lok Sabha on January 8, 2019 but it lapsed as it could not be tabled on the Rajya Sabhadue to protests across Northeast. The AGP is also against the CAB.

Mahanta said, “Had the Assam Accord been implemented in letter and spirit, we would not have faced such a day.”

“The good thing is that an Implementation Committee for Clause 6 of the Assam Accord has been formed to take it to its final goal.”

“Had that been implemented earlier, the ‘indigenous’ people of Assam could have rested in peace,” said Mahanta.

He added, “Till date, neither the Congress party nor the ruling BJP has come out open in defining as to who are indigenous and who are not within its (Clause 6) framework.”

Mahanta went saying further, “Both these national parties have taken the people for a ride by maintaining a dual stand on this grave issue.”

“Leaders of both these parties take one stand here in Assam and the other in Delhi, which is not acceptable for us,” he added.

Mahanta clarified that his two-day visit to Silchar is not “political” and said he arrived here to meet his old friends.

According to sources, Prafulla Mahanta has visited Silchar to garner support for the candidature of his wife, Dr Jayashree Mahanta, as the president of the apex literary body, Asam Sahitya Sabha (ASS).

He was supposed to meet members of different branches of ASS for the same in Silchar on Saturday.

Aniruddha Laskar

Aniruddha Laskar is the Chief of Bureau, South Assam &and Mizoram. He can be reached at - anilaskar@gmail.com