Within 24 hours of NRC backtracking by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Assam Government has toned down its rhetoric from ‘complete rejection’ to “partial re-verification”.
Assam Government although have not taken any formal cabinet decision but has been maintaining that they had rejected the NRC in Assam as there were only 19 lakh exclusions.
“If the Supreme Court allows 20 per cent re-verification in the border districts and there is no mistake in the re-verification, we will accept it (the updated NRC) and don’t need a national one. If there are numerous mistakes again in the re-verification, we may approach the Supreme Court for a complete review,” he said. “We are sure lots of mistakes will be found out in the re-verification process,” he added.
This is a major climb down from the complete rejection. This is also the demand of the All Assam Students Union(AASU) which calls for remedial measures from the Supreme Court, which is going to hear the matter on January 6, 2020.
The Centre and the Assam government had in July 2019 submitted an affidavit in the Supreme Court, praying for re-verification of 20 per cent of the names in the complete draft NRC (published on July 30, 2018) in the districts bordering Bangladesh and 10 per cent names from other districts but the court, which monitored the NRC update process in Assam, had rejected the plea.
Mr Sarma said the Assam government would not accept the Assam NRC in the present condition under any circumstances. The final NRC was published on August 31 this year with over 19 lakh exclusions.
Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement that there was no talk on countrywide NRC during his tenure, he said, “The PM yesterday (Sunday) said there is no plan for a nationwide NRC. So we have to pursue only in the Supreme Court. If it does not listen to us, we will have to approach the government of India.”
“When there is a national NRC, we should join the national NRC. If there is no national NRC, then Assam NRC should be foolproof,” Sarma said.