New Delhi: The issue of National Register of Citizens (NRC) could affect the poll outcome on 40 Lok Sabha seats. They include seats in J&K (6) Assam (8), West Bengal (17) and Bihar (9). Of these, only 8 seats were won by the BJP in the 2014 general elections.
The BJP has linked NRC to national security so that it may not face the allegation of attempting communal polarisation. BJP president Amit Shah has asked the Opposition to clarify whether they support or oppose illegal migrants.
Not a political issue
BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav said it is not a political issue. For the party, it is about employment, education and other basic facilities. Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi said even Indian citizens have been excluded from the list.
Strong message to a community
Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) Director Sanjay Kumar said politically it is an attempt to give a strong message to a particular community. Through NRC, BJP has conveyed that it supports one community.
Names not to be removed from voter list
Meanwhile there are indications from Election Commission that those out of NRC would be allowed to vote.
In last LS polls in Assam, BJP polled 37 per cent votes, followed by Congress 30 per cent and All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) 15 per cent. If the names of millions of people belonging to religious and linguistic communities are removed from voter list then AIUDF, which enjoys the support of Muslim voters, is likely to be worst hit.
Three things yet to be decided
1) What will be done with the people whose names are not included in the final draft
2) Will they be allowed to vote?
3) Where will they be deported to?
(Story: Santosh Kumar, Mukesh Kaushik)