A day after the Election Commission announced that those excluded from the National Register of Citizens (NRC) will be eligible to vote in the upcoming Assembly poll if their names are there on the voter list, the ruling BJP on Thursday said status quo about their voting rights has to be maintained while the Congress and the AIUDF welcomed the decision.
The final NRC, a database of Indian citizens living in Assam which was updated under the supervision of the Supreme Court and published on August 31, 2019, excluded names of over 19 lakh of the 3.29 crore applicants.
However, it has not been notified by the Registrar General of India yet. This leaves the document without any official validity.
“Lakhs of Indian citizens were excluded in the NRC but names of many illegal immigrants are there in it. The NRC document in its present form has not been accepted by the party and we have asked for a reverification. Till it is done, status quo has to be maintained as the notification is yet to be issued,” BJP Assam unit president Ranjeet Dass said.
State Congress spokesperson Bobbeeta Sharma said names of many genuine Indian citizens were left out of the final NRC. “The EC has taken the right step in allowing them to vote. Otherwise, their democratic rights would have been infringed upon,” she said.
The All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), an alliance partner of the Congress for the Assembly poll due in March-April, also welcomed the EC decision describing it as “a positive move”.
AIUDF general secretary Aminul Islam said: “We also want a permanent solution to the problems of doubtful or D-voters which exists only in Assam.”