The Election Commission on Friday said that registered voters who were excluded from the final list of the National Register of Citizens in Assam will not be marked “doubtful”, The Indian Express reported. Doubtful, or D voters, are people whose citizenship is in dispute.
Over 19 lakh people were left out of the register in Assam. Out of 3.3 crore applicants, 3.11 were included in the final NRC list that was published on August 31. It is, however, unclear how many out of those excluded in the state are registered to vote.
“The Home Ministry’s clarification leaves little room for debate,” an unidentified senior official of the Election Commission said. “There will be no suo motu deletion from the electoral roll based on the final NRC. Also, those excluded will not be marked as ‘D’ voters.”
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Before the final list of the NRC was published, the Home Ministry had said on August 20 that exclusion of a person’s name from the list would not lead to him or her being declared a foreigner. After the list was published on August 31, the ministry had clarified that those left out of the final NRC would not be detained until they exhaust all options for legal recourse.
The Assam government has also arranged for the required facilities for providing legal assistance through the District Legal Services Authority, the statement had said.
The electoral body had introduced “D voters” in 1997 while revising the state’s voters list. These doubtful voters may still be on electoral rolls in Assam, however, they cannot vote unless a foreigners’ tribunal decides their case.
Read the stories of those who are most affected by the NRC exercise in our series: The Final Count.
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