GUWAHATI, June 16 - Alleging that the State government is willingly delaying the NRC update process with an agenda to accommodate the Hindu Bangladeshis coming to Assam post-1971, the Left-Democratic Manch, Assam, today expressed serious doubts over publication of the draft NRC by December 31 this year, as announced by the government.
Alleging that the Union and State governments are buying time for amendments to the Citizenship Act to be passed by the Parliament, the joint forum of 11 political parties including CPI, CPIM, CPIML, Aam Aadmi Party, NCP and SP among others, said the entire process of NRC update was stalled as per a government design.
Earlier, the government had promised to publish the draft NRC by March 31 this year, which was postponed till December 31. �When a delegation of Left-Democratic Manch met the NRC coordinator Pratik Hajela on Thursday on the issue, he could not give a clear account of the progress in the NRC work so far,� said CPIM State secretary Deven Bhattacharya.
�Though the NRC coordinator reiterated publishing the draft NRC by December this year, we have come to know about the retrenchment of nearly 2,500 contractual employees, which is likely to slow down the process. Moreover, the contract with Wipro, the private party involved in the process, has also not been renewed, raising doubts over the progress of the work,� he added.
Manjit Mahanta, general secretary of the Assam Sangrami Mancha, said that of the Rs 905 crore sanctioned by the Centre for the entire NRC update work, it has released Rs 782 crore so far, but the State government has only released Rs 654 crore to the NRC authorities holding back over Rs 120 crore.
�Also, fund anomalies are suspected with reports of dysfunctional NRC Seva Kendras in various parts of the State mainly due to lack of logistics. That the NRC coordinator could not provide us with details of the exact progress made in the update work so far is unfortunate,� he said. The Mancha asked the government to expedite the work and publish the draft this year and ensure an error-free NRC with 1971 as the base year.