If the Citizenship Amendment Bill passes muster in Rajya Sabha and subsequently becomes an Act, more than five lakh Hindu migrants from Bangladesh, whose names were excluded in the final NRC, will be able to claim citizenship.
The final NRC (National Register of Citizens) was released on August 31 and an estimated 19 lakh people were excluded from the final list.
"These people need to apply first. Their applications will be assessed before they are granted citizenship. We expect to complete the process and give them citizenship before the next assembly session in 2021," said Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.
The remaining 13 lakh – which includes about 7 lakh Muslims – will have to approach foreign tribunals and furnish documents to establish their eligibility for Indian citizenship.
On December 9, Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal had furnished a list of two lakh Bengali Hindus, who are currently living in nine of the 34 districts, and are "eligible for citizenship".
Sarma, who happens to be one of the most vocal supporter of the Citizenship Amendment Bill, told the publication that over five lakh Bengal Hindu NRC rejects will apply for citizenship after the bill is passed.
"Kamrup (Metro) and Hojai districts each have about 60,000 eligible Bengali Hindus, which is the highest among all the districts," Sarma said.
About 60,000 Muslims have also been left out from the final NRC in Hojai district, whereas in Darrang district over 1.55 lakh Muslims were excluded –the highest number anywhere in the state. However, no Muslim was excluded from NRC in Charaideo, Dima Hasao, Hamren and Majauli district.
There are about 2000 Bengali Hindu migrants in Charaideo, 1500 in Dima Hasao, 1000 in Hamren, and 300 in Majauli district. Nalbari, an RSS stronghold, has about 1000 Bengali Hindu migrants.
After the bill was passed in Lok Sabha, Sarma had tweeted, “This bill will go down in history as a glorious historical correction of a blunder committed by Nehru-Liyaquat Pact! Posterity will owe it to PM Sri Narendra Modi for this giant step.”
However, the All Assam Student’s Union (AASU) accused the chief minister of working against the interests of the state. The party said that last time they has prevented the bill from being passed by “lobbying hard to bring together NDA allies as well opposition parties” to vote against the Citizenship Amendment Bill.
"This time, more than blaming JD(U), Shiv Sena, BJD or other parties, we are offended by the pro-CAB stand of our chief minister Sonowal and his party leaders who are against the people of Assam,” AASU General Secretary Lurinjyoti Gogoi told The Times of India