Number of excluded people will change in NRC: Himanta; TMC to hold rallies across Bengal against NRC draft today

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Agartala/KOLKATA, Aug 10 (PTI): Assam finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has said the number of people excluded from the draft National Register of Citizens (NRC) in the state will “drastically” change at the end of the process of claims and objections.

However, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) will take out rallies across West Bengal on Saturday in protest against the publication of NRC, a senior leader of the party said.

The final draft of the NRC in the state is not a major issue as it is not the final one, he told reporters here on Thursday. “It is not proper to come to a conclusion regarding the NRC in Assam. It is just a draft. In our NRC, names of many people are not there. This number will drastically change after claims and objections are taken into consideration,” said Sarma, who is also the convenor of the North-East Democratic Alliance, formed by the BJP along with regional political parties.

Tripura chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb, who was present during the interaction with reporters, said he was unaware of any demand for updating NRC in the state.

Sarma suggested that other states could replicate the Assam model of NRC after the process was complete. “Let Assam produce a correct and perfect NRC. Then people should try to replicate it,” he said.

On NDA ally Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura’s demand of NRC revision in Tripura, Sarma said there was no “huge requirement” for such a decision. “Going by the demography of Tripura, I don’t think there is a huge requirement. Assam’s demography has changed. NRC revision is being done in Assam as per the Assam Accord. But in Tripura, there is no accord, no cut-off date, neither in any way to generate any legacy document,” he said.

Another regional party, the Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura, too had demanded an NRC revision and deportation of foreigners who had illegally migrated to Tripura from neighbouring Bangladesh.

TMC to hold rallies across Bengal

Meanwhile, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) will take out rallies across West Bengal on Saturday in protest against the publication of National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam, a senior leader of the party said.

The state capital, however, has been exempted from Saturday’s plan, TMC secretary-general and West Bengal Education Minister Partha Chatterjee said here on Friday.

BJP national president Amit Shah is set to address a public meeting in the central part of Kolkata on Thursday.

“Barring Kolkata, we will organise rallies across the state in protest against the NRC. A separate rally will be taken out in the capital city on Sunday,” Chatterjee told reporters.

The minister also accused the BJP-led Assam government of “deliberately omitting” Bengalis from the NRC draft. The complete draft of NRC was published on July 30 in Assam with 2.89 lakh names out of 3.29 crore applicants. Over 40 lakh people did not make it to the list.

“Lakhs of Bengalis have been omitted from the NRC draft. It has been done deliberately. We demand that these names be included in the list as they are also Indians. You cannot make a person refugee in his own country,” Chatterjee added.

Last week, the party had observed ‘black day’ across the state in protest against detention of its MPs at Silchar airport in Assam. An eight-member TMC delegation that reached Silchar on August 2 to assess the situation in Assam in the wake of the NRC publication was not allowed to leave the airport.

TMC supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had claimed that the delegation members were manhandled at the airport and accused the BJP of imposing “super emergency” in the country.

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