A day after Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi announced that the exercise to collect data for the National Population Register (NPR) will be held in May, JD(U) leader Pavan K Varma on Sunday urged Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to “take a stand” against the move, which he said, is an attempt to create religious divide.
“The CAA-NRC combine is a direct attempt to divide Hindus and Muslims and to create social instability. You have always stood for a secular India, where there is peace, respect and goodwill among all its communities. It is for this reason that I had appealed to you to reconsider the party’s support to the divisive and discriminatory CAB. I was deeply disappointed when my request when unheeded,” a letter to the chief minister read.
“Subsequently, I was happy when you categorically stated that there will be no NRC in Bihar,” Varma added.
Referring to Sushil Modi’s announcement that the NPR exercise will be held between May 15 and 28, the JD(U) leader said, “However, I am greatly surprised that Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi has unilaterally announced that the NPR will be carried out in Bihar between May 15 and May 28, 2020. As you are aware the government has categorically stated that the NPR is the first step to implementing the NRC, it follows that you must say no to the revised NPR as well.”
Varma urged Kumar to come clear on the matter.
“May I request you now to take a principled stand against the CAA-NPR-NRC scheme, and reject its nefarious agenda to divide India and create a great deal of unncessary social turbulence. A clear cut public statement by you to this effect would be a major step towards preserving and strengthening the idea of India to which, I know, you yourself are committed,” he said.
The JD(U), the BJP’s partner in Bihar’s ruling coalition, said that since Prime Minister Narendra Modi had clarified that there is no proposal to implement the National Register of Citizens (NRC) across the country, there was no problem in going ahead with the NPR exercise.
Last month, with protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the proposed countrywide NRC gaining momentum, JD-U vice president Prashant Kishor had said that Kumar was against a nationwide NRC. With national spokesperson K C Tyagi confirming the decision to “say no to NRC”, the JD-U had become the first BJP ally to come out openly against the NRC.
However, on Saturday, Sushil Modi said, “Every state has to do it (the NPR exercise). It is the legal process. No state can oppose it.”
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