Assam remains popular subject current Parliament session; questions on NRC, D-voters continue

D voters are people whose position as voters has been dubbed 'doubtful' though the criteria for this exclusion has often be found to be somewhat arbitrary, being the responsibility of lower in the hierarchy officials of the Commission. The Election Commission started classifying citizens as D voter in 1997. The Border Police would refer suspected foreigners to Foreigners’ Tribunals - - again without preliminary investigation - - following which there would be a trial within Assam's Foreigners Tribunals where they would be required to prove that they are genuine Indian citizens. This system does not, so far, exist anywhere else in the country.


The government, on December 3, was questioned by Asaduddin Owaisi about the number of D-voters presently in Assam The Ministry of Home Affairs responded that as of October 2019, there were 1,13,738 D-voters in Assam out of which 70,723 were females.

While these more than 1 lakh D-voters have been waiting to vote since more than 20 years now, the Election Commission had recently clarified that the people excluded from the final NRC did not automatically lose their voting rights; people who are already D-voters were barred from enrolment in the NRC though the two processes have so far been mutually exclusive. The excluded persons, basically continue to vote, until and if they are declared foreigners by the Foreigners Tribunal.

The D-voters also have to wait until their name is cleared by the Foreigners Tribunals so that they can call themselves citizens and get the tag of “D-voter” removed from the electoral list.

As per a Chief Electoral Officer of Assam, as of March,2019 there were 1.20 lakh D-voters in Assam and he said, “The number has come down, compared to last year as some cases have been disposed off by tribunals”

One of the D-Voters, Bishnu Khatriyo, told Deccan Herald, that most of the D-voters in the refugee colony where he was living claim that they or their parents had fled their ancestral homes in neighbouring Bangladesh in 1964 due to “religious persecution” and were provided shelters by Jawaharlal Nehru-government in Goalpara and Kamrup districts in eastern Assam. “We were provided land here by the government during Indira Gandhi’s time. How can the government deny us citizenship and right to vote after so many years? Please tell the government to give our voting rights back,” Khatriyo said.

Big question, small answer

On the same day, the government was questioned on instances where name of some members of a family has been featured in NRC list while some others have been left out. But the government, clearly begged indifference to the same. In response the government mentioned how NRC is governed by Section 14A of the Citizenship Act and The Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules and how NRC was prepared under direct supervision of the Supreme Court. This is the kind of response the government has chosen to give whenever questioned about the NRC process in Assam.


Marked as ‘Doubtful’, 1.2 Lakh Voters Left Out of Electoral Rolls in Assam
Give back our voting rights: ‘D’ voters in Assam
8 Year Old Declared D-Voter in Assam
Maharashtra: Name in doubtful list, Assam woman says ‘painful to not be able to vote’
CJP in Action: As the election rages on, volunteers work tirelessly in Assam

Bengali Hindu couple falsely accused of using fake legacy person

What next for those left out of the NRC?



Related Articles