Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel Saturday echoed the Opposition’s dissent over the implementation of National Register of Citizens (NRC), saying that its rollout seems impractical as over half the population in his state will not be able to prove their citizenship as they neither have land nor land records. CAA Protests Live
“In Chhattisgarh, there are 2.80 crore people and more than half of them will not be able to prove their citizenship. They neither have land records nor land. Their forefathers were illiterate. Most of them migrated to other villages or states. From where they will bring the 50-100 years old documents,” Baghel was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
Baghel’s remarks come amid the raging protests across the country against the amended Citizenship Act (CAA) and NRC.
Baghel also stated that he would oppose the NRC exercise the way Mahatma Gandhi had opposed the identification scheme of Britishers in Africa in 1906.
When asked whether people will have to stand in queues, as happened during demonetisation, to prove their citizenship once the NRC is implemented, Baghel said, “Indeed, we have to prove that we are Indians. How those who are not able to do so, will be accommodated?
“This is just an unnecessary burden on people. We have several agencies to check infiltration in the country. The agencies can take action against the infiltrators. But how come they (Centre) can trouble the common people,” he added.
Baghel had also criticised the NDA government over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, which grants Indian citizenship to persecuted non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. Opposition parties have been protesting against the new Citizenship law, citing that the legislation excludes Muslims.
On Friday, Congress President Sonia Gandhi drew a parallel between NRC and demonetisation and said the “poor and vulnerable” will be particularly “hurt” as they will be forced to stand in queues to prove their citizenship and face hardships similar to what they endured three years ago.
-With PTI inputs
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