Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Thursday defended his government's decision to appeal to the Supreme Court for sample re-verification of the draft National Register of Citizens (NRC), saying it was done to ensure an error-free document.
Hoisting the national flag at the main function of the 73rd Independence Day celebration here, Sonowal also said the state government is committed to ensure safety of every genuine Indian citizen living in Assam.
"For the sake of a correct and error-free NRC, our government had appealed to the honourable Supreme Court for re-verification of the NRC update process," he said.
On July 23, the Supreme Court rejected the pleas of the Centre and the Assam government seeking permission for 20 per cent sample re-verification. The permission had been sought to find out wrongful inclusions and exclusions of persons in the NRC, the final version of which is scheduled to be published by August 31.
"We hope that once the Supreme Court-monitored process is complete, the people of Assam will get a historic document, where no foreigner will find a place and no Indian will be left out," Sonowal said.
The Assam government has extended full cooperation in preparing the NRC with around 55,000 of its employees and scores of police officials offering their services, he said.
The chief minister also said that his government will soon formulate a new policy to give land rights to the landless families in the state.
"We are going to give land pattas to landless families in over 900 villages. It is being done for the first time since Independence. We aim to give land pattas to one lakh landless families during the current year and the process has already started," he added.
Sonowal said the state government has spent Rs 70,000 crore during 2017-18 compared to Rs 42,000 crore in 2014-15 and this has given a new lease of life to Assam's development.
On environment issue, he said the government is focusing on expanding the green cover and set a goal to plant 10 crore saplings across the state.
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