Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma claimed on Thursday that the NRC remained incomplete in the state and “justice” needed to be done to Hindus living in the Barak Valley region. Mr Sarma, who is the ruling BJP’s trouble-shooter in the northeast, also alleged the NRC was not completed because of the former coordinator Prateek Hajela.
“We have promised justice to Hindus of Barak Valley. NRC remained incomplete due to Prateek Hajela. We have done almost 90 per cent of the work… we still need to do some work for providing justice to Hindus,” Mr Sarma said at a meeting in Karimganj district in the Barak Valley.
“Thousands who believe in Maa Bharati are still languishing in detention camps,” he said, adding that the BJP-led Assam government had set a “new benchmark” in governance in its first term.
Assam’s NRC, the final list of which was published in August last year, excludes 19.22 lakh people out of the nearly 3.3 crore applicants. The BJP has criticised the list, alleging that many genuine citizens, especially refugees who migrated from Bangladesh before 1971, are among those left out.
Speaking to NDTV after the list was released, firebrand BJP MLA Silditya Dev alleged that the NRC was part of a “conspiracy to keep Hindus out and help Muslims”.
Earlier this month lawyers and activists alleged an attempt to re-open the Assam NRC exercise, after the new coordinator – Hitesh Dev Sarma – told the Gauhati High Court the NRC may have included up to 2.77 lakh “undeserving” names due to poor quality check and control.
Mr Sarma also referred to the recently held Bodoland Territorial Council polls, from which the BJP failed to emerge as the single-largest party but still formed the Council – with support from the UPPL and GSP – to predict a win in Assembly elections due in less than six months.
“The 2021 election, for us, is the fight to protect civilisation. Till now we have been victorious in saving our civilisation,” Mr Sarma declared, adding, “We will fight (All India United Democratic Front chief) Badruddin Ajmal democratically and ensure he is chased out.”
Mr Sarma’s comment comes amid speculation of an alliance between the AIUDF and the Congress.