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SHILLONG | DEC 5, 2019:
Leader of Opposition, Dr Mukul Sangma said that the National Register of Citizens (NRC) is specific with Assam. This observation of Dr Sangma has come at the time when the BJP led NDA Government at the Centre is contemplating to implement NRC throughout the country.
"We should understand that NRC is specific to Assam. It is the National Register of Indian Citizens (NRIC) which should be implemented and this was notified in 2003," Dr Mukul, also the former Chief Minister said while speaking to reporters on Wednesday.
According to him, NRC should not be mixed up with NRIC. "Why we are not implementing the NRIC since it was notified since 2003. We will be able to classify the category of residents and out of that identify the genuine citizens through this exercise," Leader of Opposition said.
Asserting that it is important for the States to have 'National Population Register' (NPR) to maintain a data bank of the citizens, Dr Mukul said, "Only when we complete the exercise of NRIC we will know how many are Indian citizens".
Earlier, Union home minister Amit Shah had set a deadline for the implementation of a countrywide National Register of Citizens (NRC) by stating that the exercise will be rolled out before the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. Shah had said the exercise will wean out "all illegal infiltrators from India.
It may be recalled that the NRC in Assam proved to be an expensive experiment with the exercise reportedly costing the central government Rs 1,600 crore to update it. The names of many genuine citizens failed to appear which left many running to the Foreign Tribunals to prove their case. Residents of Meghalaya married in Assam where also caught in the loop with the name of over a thousand women not appearing in the list and the legislators finding out ways and methods to handle the situation.
Following exclusion of the names of many tribals and non tribals women from Meghalaya, married in Assam from the NRC list, Congress MLA from Rajabala, Azad Zaman had met Chief Minister Conrad Sangma and submitted a memorandum suggesting steps that might be helpful in saving these women from going to the Foreign Tribunals.
Chief Minister Conrad Sangma had assured to take up the issue with its Assam counterpart.