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Sonowal shield for D-voters

Dhemaji, June 19: Union minister of state with independent charge for sports and youth affairs, skill development and entrepreneurship, Sarbananda Sonowal, today said Hindu Bengalis in Assam who have been dubbed D-voters (doubtful/disputed) would be given full security by the BJP-led NDA government.

The minister was speaking at a felicitation function organised by the Ganatantrik Nagrik Suraksha Mancha at Singajan, under Sissiborgaon circle in Dhemaji district.

Sonowal is the MP from Lakhimpur constituency.

Though Sonowal refused to elaborate much on the issue, he gave broad hints that Bangladeshi Hindus who were allegedly forced to come to India seeking shelter because of “persecution” in the neighbouring country, would be protected.

In 1997, the Election Commission had ordered that the letter ‘D’ be written against names of those voters who failed to provide proof of their citizenship and cases of all those were referred to the foreigners’ tribunals.

Assam now has 1.43 lakh D-voters which include the names of Hindu Bangladeshis.

The D-voters have not been allowed to vote and the issue has been one of the major poll planks for the political parties, including the BJP and the Congress.