GUWAHATI, Sept 6 - Leader of Opposition in the Assam Legislative Assembly, Debabrata Saikia, accusing the NRC State Coordinator Prateek Hajela of misleading the Supreme Court, asked for his removal in consequence of the proposal to the apex court to dispense with the 1951 NRC and pre-1971 voters lists of Assam while dealing with claims and objections relating to omission of over 40 lakh names from the final draft of the NRC.
Saikia said that the eligibility criteria framed for the NRC by various stakeholders, including the government, had specifically listed the 1951 NRC and pre-1971 voters lists as the first two among important documents for the purpose of verification.
�It is consequently logical to attribute a malafide motive to Hajela�s arbitrary recommendation to drop these two important documents from the verification process. Numerous people, especially those afflicted by economic and educational backwardness, did not anticipate that a day would come when the presence of the names of their parents or grandparents in the 1951 NRC and pre-1971 voters lists would not be sufficient to prove their citizenship. Such people may not have bothered to acquire any of the 10 documents suggested by Hajela as admissible legacy/citizenship documents. These people, despite being genuine citizens, will be branded as foreigners if Hajela�s proposal is accepted,� Saikia said.
He added, �In any case, changing the eligibility criteria at such an advanced stage of the NRC process is against the demands of natural justice.�
The Opposition leader urged all parties involved in the ongoing NRC-related proceedings in the Supreme Court to keep this aspect in view while submitting their views on Hajela�s proposal in the next hearing.