December 27, 2019 1:27:17 pm
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar-led JD(U) Thursday said it cannot support the proposed National Population Register (NPR) drive till the central government clarifies all confusions and allays all apprehensions of it being “the first step towards NRC”. The JD(U) as well as the Opposition parties, RJD, RLSP and HAM(S), are opposed to NPR.
JD(U) spokesperson K C Tyagi told The Indian Express: “Even though Union Home Minister Amit Shah said the NPR is not linked to NRC, Union minister of state for home affairs Kiran Rijju said that NPR is the first step to NRC… There has been a lot of confusions, which need to be cleared and all the apprehensions need to be allayed”. Asked if the JD(U) supports the NPR, Tyagi said: “There are contradictions in government’s old and new statements. We are questioning the very validity of the NPR. The JD(U) is not going to support it till the government’s representatives, especially Union home minister clarifies its stand with more transparency.”
Tyagi said the Congress had also claimed that the questionnaire of the proposed NPR was different from the one during the UPA regime. “As long as NPR is part of the census exercise, we have no issues. But it cannot be clubbed with NRC or should not be a precursor to NRC.” he added.
JD(U) national vice-president Prashant Kishor, who was among first party leaders to criticise the NRC, has further stepped up pressure on the BJP. In a tweet Thursday, he said that PM’s statement that “there had been no discussion on NRC” was “nothing but a tactical retreat in the face of the nationwide protest against #CAA-NRC. It is a pause and not the full stop. The government could wait till the Supreme Court gives its verdict on the CAA. A favourable court order and the whole process will be back”.
Meanwhile, Opposition parties, including the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) and the Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular), begun a fortnight-long trip across the state against NPR, NRC and CAA. RLSP chief Upendra Kushwaha said: “NPR is nothing but a toned-down exercise of the NRC. I have been part of the NDA government and I know how it functions and where it tells Lies. We are going to tell people the truth about the NRC and the NPR. All these things are unnecessary steps ahead of the need for steps to set the sagging economy on track”.
On the other hand, HAM(S) chief and former CM Jitan Ram Manjhi would share the dais with AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi in Kishanganj on December 29. “Our leader Manjhi is going to express solidarity with people by addressing a public gathering with Owaisi. We will continuously go on the ground to make people aware of the nefarious designs of the BJP,” said HAM(S) spokesperson Danish Rizwan. RJD leader of Opposition Tejashwi Prasad Yadav has also opposed the NPR calling it a “precursor to the NRC”.
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