People wait in queue to check their names on the draft list at the National Register of Citizens (NRC) centre at a village in Nagaon district, Assam onJuly 30, 2018. — Reuters

Caravan News

NEW DELHI: In a big setback to ‘political conspiracy’ behind exclusion of 40 lakh people from the final draft of Assam’s National Register of Citizens (NRC), the Election Commission of India on Wednesday categorically said that those not in NRC list can vote if they are in voters’ list. There is no change in the policy and rules for voting after the NRC, the commission said.

On Monday, the final draft of NRC was made public. Of the 3.29 crore people who had applied for inclusion in the NRC list, only 2.89 crore people could make to the list and over 40 lakh people were left out.

Since the final draft was published, the political opposition has strongly criticized the BJP government of the Centre and Assam state for the mass exclusion of people. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has even warned that such mass exclusion of people may lead to a civil war. Meanwhile, BJP president Amit Shah has reportedly boasted of the NRC performance and said it is key to security of the country. Even though the Supreme Court has ordered against any coercive action against those excluded from the list, Shah has reportedly declared them ‘illegal’ and ‘infiltrators’.

Those left out of a new list of citizens in Assam “need not worry” for now; they can vote if their names are on the electoral rolls and they meet all other conditions, Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat has told NDTV.

“Those left out of the Assam citizen’s list can vote if their names are in the voter’s list and they fulfill all conditions. The Election Commission will publish a voter list in January and will not wait for the final NRC,” Chief Election Commissioner told the TV channel.

Sensing the gravity of the situation, the Supreme Court of India also on Tuesday made it categorically clear that no authority will take any coercive action against those whose names are missing in the final draft of Assam NRC.

The SC order asking the central and state authorities not to take any coercive action against the excluded people was passed by a bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and R F Nariman.

The bench further ordered that a standard operating procedure to deal with the claims of those excluded should be framed and furnished before the apex court on 16th August.

Population of Assam As Per Census 2011
Total Population 3,12,05,576
Hindu 1,91,80,759
Muslim 1,06,79,345
Christian 11,65,867
Sikh 20,672
Buddhist 54,993
Jain 25,949


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