GUWAHATI: The BJP, which released its Assam election manifesto on Tuesday, has promised a “corrected” National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the detection of the “infiltrators”.
“We will uphold the rights of the Assamese through a corrected NRC and protect genuine Indian citizens and detect infiltrators. We want to ensure that the Ahom civilization stays safe,” BJP national president JP Nadda said, releasing the manifesto.
The NRC of 1951 was updated in Assam in deference to the Assam Accord which says the illegal immigrants, who entered Assam after the midnight of March 24, 1971, are to be detected and deported. The NRC was updated based on this cut-off date.
The final draft of the NRC, published on August 31, 2019, saw over 19.06 lakh of the 3.30 crore applicants left out of the document. The updated NRC made no political party or organisation happy as many indigenous people had failed to make it to the list.
The BJP favours 20% re-verification of the documents of NRC applicants in the districts which share a border with Bangladesh and 10% re-verification in the rest of the districts.
The BJP manifesto made no mention of the implementation of the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA).
The CAA seeks to protect the non-Muslim immigrants from Bangladesh, besides Pakistan and Afghanistan, who entered India till December 31, 2014. After the Centre had brought in this legislation, Assam erupted in protests and they soon spilled over to other parts of the country.
The BJP manifesto was also silent on Clause 6 of the Assam Accord which the Rajiv Gandhi government had signed in 1985 at the end of six-year-long bloody Assam Agitation which was spearheaded by the All Assam Students’ Union.
The Accord’s Clause 6 says: “Constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards, as may be appropriate, shall be provided to protect, preserve and promote the cultural, social, linguistic identity and heritage of the Assamese people”.
The BJP has pledged to make Assam flood-free through dredging of rivers and building large reservoirs to divert floodwaters, strengthening Vaishnavite prayer centres “namghars and Satras” and creating a task force to recover the lands of the Satras and places of worship of tribals from encroachment.
The other promises were ensuring self-sufficiency in food, creating jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities, distributing land deeds to landless Indian citizens of the state in a phased manner, formulating laws to tackle and end the menace of “land jihad” and “love jihad” etc.
“We’ll formulate an Assam De-radicalisation Policy to identify and strictly quash organisations and individuals from fanning the flames of communal exclusion and separatism,” the manifesto reads.
The BJP promised to augment the tech-based vigilance to “clamp down on infiltration from the Bangladesh border” and a “special socio-economic and caste census for the identification of indigenous Muslim communities such as Goria, Moria, Deshi, Jolah, Maimol, and Kachari in order to extend the benefits of various state and Central development schemes focusing on minority welfare”.