Preparation of Assam’s National Register of Citizens (NRC) is a long-drawn-out process and that the government has completed only less than one-third work on it, Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said here on Friday.
“By the time it is completed, the people’s perception on it may change. Only 30 per cent work of NRC in Assam is completed. On the basis of that, people should not come to any final conclusion,” said Sarma.
“There is no need to be panicky or create unrest. Those whose names have not been included in the NRC, they can apply with valid documents. Moreover, there is High Court and Supreme Court to file any objections,” he added.
Sarma, who also holds the PWD department, said there was no caste or community issue (in finalising the NRC). “The entire process is transparent and available in public domain,” he said.
The NRC is part of the Assam accord which has to be completed in due time. “We are following the guidelines of the accord. The NRC work is being monitored by the Supreme Court,” said Sarma, who is in-charge of Bharatiya Janata Party’s Tripura affairs.
Various tribal-based political parties in Tripura, including the ruling BJP’s junior partner Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) and the opposition Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT) and National Conference of Tripura (NCT), are demanding an NRC for the state.
Sarma, who is the convener of the BJP-led anti-Congress alliance, North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), said: “First let us do it successfully in Assam. Let Supreme Court find out the credibility. We have spent Rs 100 crore for the task, now let us wait for the result before jumping to any conclusion.”
He said Assam’s demography has changed. There is an accord and a cut-off date. “These elements are not there in Tripura. So, in the absence of an accord, a cut-off date and a statutory body, the outcome could just be a replication of the voters’ list,” said Sarma, who was also a minister in Assam’s Congress-led government headed by then Chief Minister Tarun Gagoi.
Sarma, who arrived in Tripura capital on Thursday on a two-day visit, held a series of meetings with party leaders for the Lok Sabha polls.
Out of the total 25 Lok Sabha seats in northeast India, comprising eight states, there are two seats in Tripura and BJP despite objection from its alliance party IPFT has already declared to field candidates in both the seats, Tripura East (reserved for the tribals) and Tripura West.