In a statement that will send shivers down the spines of illegal infiltrators in the state of Assam, the state’s health, finance, education and PWD Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma has announced that the BJP government will be overhauling, and even perhaps re-conducting the exercise of NRC. This, after the all-important leader of the Northeast, stated that the NRC which was conducted previously, and which excluded 19 lakh individuals, was “fundamentally flawed”. Also training guns at the illegal infiltrators from Bangladesh and the Badruddin Ajmal’s AIUDF, the Assam minister said that his government’s fight against ‘modern Mughals’ was far from over.
Stating that the ‘Mughals’ had imbedded themselves in Assam and led to a deep rot, Himanta Biswa Sarma said five years’ time of the first BJP government, which faces polls next year as the incumbent, was not enough for driving them out. The term ‘Mughals’ has come to be used in Assam for reference to Bangladeshi infiltrators, and was first used by the Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal himself. “The indigenous communities are not safe and secure as the Mughal aggression is still on,” Sonowal had said, referring to Badruddin Ajmal’s AIUDF, which was openly a party for illegal immigrants.
Himanta Biswa Sarma, adding the prefix ‘modern’ to ‘Mughals’ said that they had entered every aspect of life in Assam, and that addressing the menace will be a long-drawn battle which couldn’t possibly be fought to completion by the BJP government in their first five years of rule. Speaking on the issue of NRC, meanwhile, Sarma said that the BJP government would be initiating a fresh process to identify illegal infiltrators and the ‘Mughals’ if the Supreme Court allows it to do so.
This effectively means that the Assam government is hoping to conduct the entire exercise of NRC once again, this time, under its own supervision. The previous NRC list, which had excluded some 19 lakh names faced tremendous opposition from many in Assam as being an underestimation of the number of illegal infiltrators. Many illegal immigrants are said to have allegedly made it to the NRC list, which is why the Himanta Biswa Sarma is now mulling a re-conduct of the same.
Accusing former NRC coordinator Prateek Hajela of messing up with the process of updating the NRC and misleading the apex court, Himanta Biswa Sarma said that they will bring all these anomalies to the notice of the Supreme Court besides taking action against Hajela who was transferred to Madhya Pradesh last year by the Supreme Court after it was revealed that he could not decently conduct the NRC exercise in Assam.
Assam goes to polls early next year, and the BJP is already mounting an aggressive and nationalistic campaign in the state. Meanwhile, opposition parties like the Congress, AIUDF and left parties are all trying to gang up on the saffron party. Despite the muscle-flexing by the opposition, Himanta Biswa Sarma and the BJP are confident of winning a second term in the crucial northeastern state.