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Will 1971 Remain Cut-off for Assam? Centre Mulls Advancing Year Before Rolling Out Pan-India NRC

The MHA officials said that the process will be set in motion soon. The national population register, sources said, could be the basis of the NRC data.

Arunima | CNN-News18Arunima24

Updated:November 21, 2019, 8:53 AM IST
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Will 1971 Remain Cut-off for Assam? Centre Mulls Advancing Year Before Rolling Out Pan-India NRC
Representative Image.

New Delhi: The process of a national citizenship register could be soon rolled out across India and may see Assam undertake a new NRC with a changed cut-off date.

Home Minister Amit Shah told Rajya Sabha on Wednesday that an all-India NRC will be carried out and the process will include Assam. "The process of NRC will be carried out across the country. No one irrespective of their religion should be worried. It is just a process to get everyone under the NRC," he said in response to a supplementary during the Question Hour in the Upper House. Shah said there is no provision in NRC that excludes people belonging to other religions.

Sources in the Union home ministry said the cut-off date for Assam NRC could be preponed from 1971 — the existing cut-off year in the recently concluded NRC. "There can't be two separate mechanisms in one country. If all-India NRC happens then the same cut-off date, same process will be for Assam also," a government official said.

BJP leader from Assam, Himanta Biswa Sarma, also echoed the same sentiments. "We have requested the Home Minister that Assam NRC should be rejected and we should be part of national exercise. Cut-off can be 1971 or 66, or 61. But it has to be same as the rest of the country. In same country there can't be two cut-off dates," he told the media.

Meanwhile, Mamata Banerjee at a political rally in Murshidabad, dared the Union government to bring NRC in her state. "We won't let them bring NRC to Bengal under any circumstances," she said.

BJP leaders have spoken about an all-India NRC but this was the first time that the home minister put the intention of the central government on Parliamentary record.

The MHA officials said that the process will be set in motion soon. The national population register, sources said, could be the basis of the NRC data. The NPR this time is giving people the option of attaching their Aadhar card, voter I-card or other identity documents with their NPR data.

A top government functionary told CNN-News18 that the Union government does not see any legal problem with its intent of bringing in all-India NRC. "Kanun bana hua Hai, sirf usse implement karna hai (the law is already made, we just need to implement it)," the functionary told CNN-News18 when asked how soon the process of an all-India NRC could begin.

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