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Thursday, July 07, 2022

Withdraw CAA, stop NRC, NPR: 20 Opposition parties pass resolution

Calling the NPR a basis for the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC), the resolution stated that the CAA, NPR, and NRC is a package which is unconstitutional.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: January 13, 2020 6:46:22 pm
The Congress-led Opposition meeting underway in New Delhi on Monday. (Express photo)

At a Congress-led meeting on Monday in the Parliament complex, 20 opposition parties passed a resolution demanding the withdrawal of the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and immediate stoppage of the nationwide National Population Register (NPR) exercise.

Calling the NPR a basis for the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC), the resolution stated, “The CAA, NPR, and NRC is a package that is unconstitutional, which specifically targets the poor, the downtrodden, the SC/STs and the linguistic and religious minorities.”

“All the chief ministers, who have announced that they will not implement NRC in their State, must consider suspending the NPR enumeration as this is a prelude to NRC,” it added.

Pointing to the economic crisis, the resolution stated instead of addressing these issues and providing relief to the people, the BJP government has embarked on a “dangerous course of sharpening communal polarisation”.

At the meeting, Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi said the Narendra Modi and Amit Shah-led government stood exposed for its inability to govern and provide security to people in the wake of widespread protests against the amended Citizenship Act and the violence on campuses.

“The nation watched in horror at BJP-orchestrated assault on JNU coming so soon after what happened in Jamia, BHU, Allahabad University and AMU and other institutions of higher learning. Modi-Shah govt stands exposed for its inability to govern and provide security to people,” Gandhi said.

Gandhi said the government has let loose reign of oppression and is spreading hatred in order to divide people along sectarian lines. “There’s unprecedented turmoil. The constitution is being undermined and instruments of governance being misused,” she said.

Accusing the Prime Minister and Home Minister of misleading the nation on CAA and NRC, Gandhi said, “They have contradicted their own statements of only weeks ago, and continue with their provocative statements while remaining insensitive to the state suppression and violence that is increasingly becoming commonplace.”

Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi chaired the meeting attended by several opposition leaders. (Express photo)

After the meeting, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said the government is “dividing nation” to divert attention from the failing economy and challenged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to go the universities and speak with the students on the state of economy and joblessness.

The meeting, which was convened by Gandhi, was attended by leaders of opposition parties like NCP supremo Sharad Pawar, LJD chief Sharad Yadav, Left leaders Sitaram Yechury and D Raja, besides Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi, Ghulam Nabi Azad, and Ahmed Patel. Former prime minister Manmohan Singh was also present.

BSP, AAP, TMC, and DMK however, stayed away. While BSP chief Mayawati said the meeting would “demoralise” her party workers, AAP and Sena said they had not received an invitation.

Taking to Twitter, Mayawati said her party workers were upset after the Congress in Rajasthan indulged in ‘horse-trading’ by getting BSP MLAs to join their party, following the election results.

She, however, made it clear that the BSP was opposed to the CAA and demanded that the government withdraw it.

“The BSP is against CAA/NRC. We once again appeal to the central government to withdraw this divisive and unconstitutional law,” Mayawati said, adding that “it is unfortunate to politicise students in JNU and other educational institutions”.

The Sena, who is an ally of the Grand Old Party in Maharashtra, said that they did not recieve any invitation to the meeting. “We haven’t yet received the invitation to the meeting. We will take a call after discussing with party chief Uddhav Thackeray,” Vinayak Raut, Shiv Sena MP and party leader in Lok Sabha, said.

Speaking on similar lines, senior AAP leader Sanjay Singh said the party had no information about the meeting.

Last week, Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said she would skip the meeting, accusing the Left Front and the Congress of playing “dirty politics” for the violence the Bharat Bandh last Wednesday. The Aam Aadmi Party, too, has decided to stay away from the meeting.

“I have decided to boycott the meeting convened by Sonia Gandhi on January 13 in New Delhi as I do not support the violence that the Left and Congress unleashed in West Bengal yesterday (Wednesday),” Banerjee said on the floor of the Assembly when Opposition MLAs insisted that the House pass a resolution against the CAA.

The opposition leaders have decided to meet today to discuss the way forward in their protest against the CAA. Moreover, the Budget session of Parliament is slated to begin next week, and the Opposition parties are likely to raise the issue in Parliament.

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At its Congress Working Committee meeting Saturday, Congress president Sonia Gandhi termed the CAA a “discriminatory and divisive” law whose “sinister” purpose was to divide people on religious lines and asserted that the NPR (National Population Register) in form and content was “disguised NRC (National Register of Citizens)”. The party passed a resolution demanding that the Act be withdrawn and the National Population Register survey be stopped.

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