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Assam clears NRC hurdle

Guwahati, Sept. 24: The Tarun Gogoi government today cleared the first hurdle for updating the National Register of Citizens with the group of ministers constituted for the purpose finalising the modalities for the process.

The panel, led by Assam Accord implementation minister Bhumidhar Barman, decided that the NRC of 1950 and voters’ list of 1971 would be the basis for the updating process.

One of the ministers in the panel said later that only Delhi was empowered to prepare the NRC in accordance with the Citizenship Act of 1955. “The state government is not authorised to prepare the NRC unless powers are delegated to it,” he added.

When the Gogoi government requested Delhi to make an exception, it was asked to first finalise the modalities. If Delhi finally gives the green signal, the register will be updated with March 25, 1971, as the cut-off date.

Apart from Barman, the members of the group constituted to work out the modalities are planning and labour minister Prithibi Majhi, parliamentary affairs minister Bharat Chandra Narah, minority affairs minister Nazrul Islam and health and family welfare minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.

Copies of the NRC of 1950 and voters’ lists would be distributed in every ward of the state for house-to-house enumeration. Barman said today’s meeting decided to convene an all-party meeting on September 28.

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