GUWAHATI, June 29 � Though Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has advocated the idea of including the names of all voters that had appeared in the voters� list, in the National Register of Citizens (NRC), the Government of India has not yet changed its stand on the issue.
Meanwhile, the State and Central governments may have to seek some more time from the Supreme Court to complete the process of updating the NRC of 1951 as it is unlikely that the job will be completed within the time-frame stipulated by the apex court.
Sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) told The Assam Tribune that the Government of India has not changed the decision taken earlier on the eligibility for inclusion of names in the NRC. Sources pointed out that as far as the Government of India is concerned, the names of those voters that appeared in the NRC of 1951 and in the voters� lists up to the midnight of March 24, 1971 and their descendants, would be included in the updated NRC. Moreover, the State government has not sent any formal proposal to the Centre to change the eligibility criteria for inclusion of names in the NRC. �The Centre was aware from media reports that the Chief Minister was advocating change of eligibility criteria, but so far the MHA has not received any formal proposal in this regard,� sources added.
On the allegations of fiddling of the original NRC during the process of computerisation of the same, sources said that whenever the MHA received such information, teams were sent for a thorough check. Sources assured that the Centre was keen on ensuring preparation of a correct NRC and experts would be sent for probes on receipt of any complaint of irregularity.
Sources further assured that funds would not be a problem as the Centre was ready to provide required funds on time to the State government for updating the NRC. It may be mentioned that the Government of India is funding the entire NRC updating exercise.
However, sources admitted that the Central and State governments may have to seek some more time from the Supreme Court for completion of the process. The Supreme Court, which is monitoring the process of updating the NRC, directed that the process should be completed by January next year. However, MHA sources said the process was delayed in some districts of Assam due to floods and �we may have to request the court to give some more time.� However, sources said the process is likely to be completed before the Assembly elections due next year.