The BJP on Monday promised to extend the contentious National Register of Citizens (NRC) across the country in a phased manner if it came to power this Lok Sabha election. Presently, Assam is the only state to have such a document and is updating it to identify its citizens.
Among its 75 definitive time-bound targets enlisted on the election manifesto, the saffron party has promised to complete the NRC process in areas affected by illegal immigration on priority.
“There has been a huge change in the cultural and linguistic identity of some areas due to illegal immigration, resulting in an adverse impact on local people’s livelihood and employment. We will expeditiously complete the National Register of Citizens process in these areas on priority. In the future, we will implement the NRC in a phased manner in other parts of the country,” the election manifesto read.
The final draft of Assam’s NRC was published on July 30, 2018. The final list excluded the names of around 40 lakh people. Of the 3.29 crore people who had filled in their applications, only 2.89 crore found their names in the draft list.
The Supreme Court has set the deadline for the final list for Assam as July 31.
While addressing an election rally last month, BJP chief Amit Shah had promised to bring the NRC in West Bengal if it came to power.
“Mamata didi thinks infiltrators will help her win the election this time. But we will bring NRC in West Bengal and drive out infiltrators one by one. They (TMC) are now scaring refugees. They are saying that if NRC is implemented, refugees will be driven out. But I want to assure all refugees that bringing Citizenship Amendment Bill is our commitment. Sikh, Buddhist and Hindu refugees will not have to leave the country. We will give them their right to live here with dignity. Mamata didi can use all the powers she has, but infiltrators will be out of this country,” he had said.
Besides the NRC, the saffron party also resolved to annul Article 35 A of the Constitution which says no outsider can own property in Jammu and Kashmir. It also expressed its commitment to annul Article 370, ensure the return of Kashmiri Pandits to the Valley and provide financial assistance to refugees from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.