The Telegraph
Sunday , December 12 , 2010
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No final decision on NRC: Gogoi
- CM allays apprehension, says talks will be held with all organisations

Guwahati, Dec. 11: Dispur appears to have got into a damage-control mode after the furore over dropping of the column on place of birth in the simplified National Register of Citizens (NRC) application form with chief minister Tarun Gogoi today saying that no final decision had been taken.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a function at Gauhati Medical College and Hospital, Gogoi said the government would consult all organisations, including the All Assam Students’ Union, before taking a final decision on the modus operandi of updating NRC 1951.

Apart from changing the clause of detail records of the place of birth, the Bhumidhar Barman-headed cabinet sub-committee, which was set up to make the NRC process simple, has included ration card as a document of proof for genuine Indian citizens. The Telegraph carried an exclusive report about the development in its December 9 edition. The exercise of simplifying the form had to be carried out following the July 21 protest by the All Assam Minority Students’ Union against the process in Barpeta that left four dead.

The AASU and the BJP have flayed the government for tinkering with the form on the ground that it would only help illegal Bangladeshis get enlisted in the NRC which is being updated. Even the Mujammil Haq group of AAMSU has criticised the government saying it should retain the place of birth clause.

“It is my government which has started the process of updating the NRC. Neither the AGP nor the BJP started the process when they were in power at the Centre and in the state. The government would take everyone into confidence before taking a final decision as how to go about in updating the NRC. We will ensure that the updated NRC neither includes any name of illegal foreigners nor excludes any genuine citizen,” Gogoi said.

AASU adviser Samujjal Bhattacharyya said the union had rejected simplified version of the NRC application form as it would leave enough scope for enlisting the names of foreigners.

Gogoi said the Opposition’s campaign to nail his government on NC Hills scam would fade out by February and dared it to shift their attack on the governor who runs the council in an oblique reference to Lt Gen. (retd) Ajai Singh during whose tenure the scam came to light. Gogoi, who recently underwent a post-bypass heart surgery check-up at the Asian Heart Institute in Mumbai, said he would be fully fit for campaigning for next year’s Assembly elections. He said the Congress would go for a friendly contest with the Bodoland People’s Front in the polls and the party high command would take a final decision on the number of seats the Congress would contest.

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