GUWAHATI, Sept 9 - NRC State Coordinator Prateek Hajela�s report to the Supreme Court suggesting that those left out of the draft NRC could submit any one of the 10 out of a total 15 documents in List-A of the Centre�s draft Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for claims and objections, while dispensing with the remaining five documents, seems to have upset all major political parties.
After Congress demanded Hajela�s removal, other parties, including the BJP, the Left and the AIUDF have also expressed reservations regarding the view put forth by the State NRC Coordinator.
�The view of the State NRC Coordinator that only 10 of the documents, instead of the total 15, should be relied upon for claims and objections is strange and surprising. Names of over 40 lakh people have been left out of the draft NRC. The procedure for the claims and objections process should be simplified to ensure that genuine Indian citizens do not face any trouble while getting their names included in the final NRC. But Hajela�s view that five of the earlier accepted 15 documents could be not relied upon has instead made the entire issue more complicated,� said Deben Bhattacharya, secretary of Assam State unit of Communist Party of India (Marxist).
He said that if the 1951 NRC and pre-1971 voters� lists and such other documents, which are among the five sought to the deleted, cannot be used then lakhs of people will lose their chance to have their names included in the final NRC.
�This will specially be the case with regard to people who are illiterate, landless and those who never had any dealings with financial institutions� So at this stage it is very important for such people to be able to use those documents,� Bhattacharya said.
The State unit of ruling BJP also said that Hajela�s suggestion has made things complicated.
�At a time when names of lakhs of Indian Gorkhas, Bengalis and Hindi-speaking people have been left out of the complete draft NRC and at a time when the Supreme Court is studying the entire situation, the intentional opinion put forward by the State NRC Coordinator has only complicated the situation,� Dilip Saikia, general secretary of Assam BJP, said.
It is noteworthy that State BJP president Ranjeet Kumar Dass has discussed the entire matter related to NRC update, including Hajela�s suggestion to the apex court, with the party�s central leadership during his two-day visit to New Delhi yesterday and today.
All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) said that very few people used to possess documents like birth certificates, LIC insurance policies, passports and land documents during the pre-1971 period.
�The suggestion given by Hajela to the Supreme Court is illogical. None of the stakeholders can accept that. If the 1951 NRC cannot be relied upon, then what kind of NRC updation is now going on? If we cannot take into confidence the 1951 NRC, then on what can we have faith? Many people have applied for NRC on the basis of the 1951 register and pre-1971 voters� list,� said AIDUF general secretary Aminul Islam.
�How can there be two different rules? How can there be one rule for three crore people and another for 40 lakh? How can one say that land documents, passports, LIC policy and birth certificate, which very few people possessed in earlier days, be relied upon, but you cannot rely on the 1951 NRC or pre-1971 voters� list? We wonder why or under whose pressure Hajela gave such an opinion,� he added.
It is noteworthy that Leader of Opposition in the Assam Legislative Assembly and senior Congress leader Debabrata Saikia has already accused Hajela of misleading the Supreme Court and asked for his removal from the post of State NRC Coordinator.