Stating he was open to a discussion on the Citizenship (Amendment Act), Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar told the state assembly Monday there was “no question” or “justification” for an “unnecessary” National Register of Citizens exercise in the country, and that it had already been clarified it would not be implemented.
He said he was also in favour of a caste-based census besides the National Population Register exercise.
Speaking at a special session of the assembly, convened to endorse the amendment to the Constitution on extending quotas in Lok Sabha and state assemblies to SCs and STs by another 10 years, Nitish Kumar responded to Leader of Opposition Tejashwi Prasad Yadav’s demand for a discussion on CAA and NPR. “These days, there has been a big discussion on such things, we will discuss it in detail… whether it is CAA. So far as NRC is concerned, there is no question of NRC,” he said.
According to Kumar, NRC had been brought only in the context of Assam. “Poore desh ke context mein NRC ki koi baat nahin. Hum logon ko koi ehsas nahin hai ki anavashyak NRC desh me aa sakta hai. Iska koi auchitya nahin hai (NRC was never in the context of the entire country. We have no knowledge that an unnecessary NRC will be conducted across the country. There is no justification for this),” he said.
He said the NPR process had been started in 2010 and all states had given their consent. Some questions, he said, had been added to it and Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi had already clarified on these while announcing the NPR dates for Bihar.
Earlier, Tejashwi Prasad Yadav demanded that the government clarify its stand on the contentious issues of CAA, NRC and NPR. “There is confusion in the state since the state government has not clarified its stand.” The RJD, he said, was opposed to both CAA and NPR, adding that the NPR process could be “more dangerous than the now shelved NRC process”.