GUWAHATI, Nov 21 - The Assam Public Works (APW), the original petitioner in the Supreme Court on updating the National Register of Citizens (NRC), on Thursday welcomed Union Home Minister Amit Shah�s announcement that the NRC would be updated again in the State along with the rest of the country.
The Congress, however, opposed the move claiming that the BJP wants a fresh NRC update without the supervision of the Supreme Court, as it wants to exclude a section of genuine Indian citizens from the religious minority community and include illegal migrants from a linguistic minority group.
Shah announced in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday that the NRC update process will be carried out afresh in Assam concurrently with the rest of India.
�The Union Home Minister�s announcement has come as a ray of hope to the indigenous population of Assam. We are definitely hopeful but not excited about it. We will express our happiness only when the genuine aspirations of the people are fulfilled,� APW president Abhijeet Sarma said here.
The updated final NRC for Assam was released on August 31 excluding names of over 19 lakh applicants in the state.
In 2009, the APW - a non-governmental organisation - had filed a petition in the Supreme Court that led to the start of the updation exercise of the NRC in 2015.
Assam, which had faced an influx of people from Bangladesh since the early 20th century, is the only State having an NRC, which was first prepared in 1951.
�An official�s bias and vested interests led to the publication of a flawed NRC.... Names of genuine Indian citizens were left out while those of illegal immigrants were included in the final NRC,� the APW chief claimed.
The APW has submitted a petition in the apex court highlighting the alleged discrepancies in the final NRC.
Opposing the idea of a fresh NRC updation exercise in Assam, senior Congress leader Debabrata Saikia alleged that the BJP wants to keep the NRC issue simmering to further its agenda of polarization along religious lines.
The final NRC was published under the supervision of the Supreme Court and, �significantly, the apex court has accepted the validity of the final NRC�, Saikia said.
�Shah�s announcement about a fresh NRC update in Assam indicates that the (Narendra) Modi government is unwilling to accept the decision of the Supreme Court,� Saikia, the leader of the opposition in Assam assembly, claimed.
The All Assam Students� Union (AASU), the signatory to the Assam Accord, has also filed a petition in the Supreme Court alleging flaws in the final NRC and its hearing will be held on November 26. � PTI