By noon Friday (July 19), Assam and India will come to know that NRC would be published as scheduled on July 31 or roadmap for new NRC based on 1951 has been carved out as the Supreme Court will hear the Centre and State’s petition to extend the NRC Publishing date.
The strategy of the Centre and the State are to delay the NRC till the Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi retires and after that much delayed Constitution bench of the cut off year is constituted and then get a judgment favouring a common 1951 base year like the rest of the country and do the NRC all over again.
Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi shall retire on November 17, 2019. He is universally hailed as the Chief architect of the NRC and for his dogmatic persuasion has brought the NRC to this point. But Centre and State are hell-bent on extending it as they feel internally that the desired number of people were not excluded in the ongoing NRC updation.
The immediate plea of the Centre and state is flood disruption but mainly a revision of 20% sample of NRC data of bordering district and 10% of other district. If the Supreme Court accede to this demand and surely this process would go beyond the tenure of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi.
It all depends on how tough he takes a stand. So far he has been unrelenting as the Centre and state have brought in huge pressure by ‘collecting 25 lakh signature’ through a newly formed organization and presenting the same to the President Ram Nath Kovind, who in turn passed it over to the Supreme Court.
All the stakeholders have reached New Delhi for a showdown. On the government side is the original petitioner Assam Public Works. While the majority of the organizations like AASU, AJYCP and KMSS as well as AAMS feel that this is a delay tactics only.
The AASU is further worried that if NRC is to be eventually done on the basis of 1951 then the very existence of the Assam Accord as well as the foundation of the AASU would be in question.
However average Assamese still feel 1951 should be the actual cut off the year like the rest of the country and 1971 based Assam Accord was a sell-out.
However Muslim organization feel that there would be tremendous social tension if the NRC was delayed. But that seems to be inevitable now as Centre and state want it desperately.