Joining the chorus of BJP leaders seeking a National Register of Citizens (NRC) in their states on the lines of the exercise carried out in Assam recently, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Sunday said the government would implement NRC in the state.
Talking to reporters in Panchkula after meeting Justice H S Bhalla (retd), former chairman of the state Human Rights Commission, as part of the BJP’s nationwide Jan Sampark
programme ahead of the Assembly elections in the state, Khattar said, “I told (Justice Bhalla) we will implement NRC in Haryana and seek his cooperation on how to implement it. He has also suggested that Haryana should have a Law Commission.”
In a statement issued later in the day, Khattar said the government was already in the process of issuing family ID cards to the people of Haryana, and that the same database would be used for the implementation of NRC in the state.
Talking to The Indian Express, Justice Bhalla said, “Yes, I suggested two things to the Chief Minister – NRC and State Law Commission in Haryana. NRC is currently only in Assam. So, he was of this view that there should be NRC in Haryana too. Residents should be given a card to state they are genuine residents of the state.”
He, however, said that with Assembly elections in Haryana scheduled to be held next month, there was unlikely to be any progress on the idea now.
“The Model Code of Conduct will also be imposed soon and the government cannot do anything on this (NRC) now. But if the BJP comes back to power, then of course things might come up on this. Anyway, it was his desire that Haryana should also have an NRC… It will be a card like Aadhaar,” Justice Bhalla said, adding that he had been approached by an NGO in Assam to look into the NRC’s implementation in the state and that he might visit the state soon.
Reacting to Khattar’s announcement on NRC, Congress leader and former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda said, “What new is he saying here? There is already a law. Whoever is a foreigner and does not possess valid documents will have to go out of the country. It is the state’s responsibility.”
Khattar also said a ‘social audit system’ would be implemented so that ex-servicemen, teachers, engineers, and other key members of society could undertake an audit of development works.
As part of the Jan Sampark programme, BJP leaders, including the Chief Minister, have been meeting prominent personalities in their area, discussing the government’s policies and seeking their suggestions. Khattar said he also met former Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba.
In Assam, the final NRC that was released on August 31 left more than 19 lakh people facing an uncertain future, four years after the exercise to compile the list began under the supervision of the Supreme Court.
Since then, though the BJP government in the state has criticised the process, alleging that many illegal immigrants had made it to the NRC, the party’s units in other states – from Delhi to West Bengal to Telangana, among others — have sought NRC in their states. Ahead of Assembly elections in Jharkhand, Chief Minister Raghubar Das pushed for the implementation of NRC in the state, saying the BJP government would identify all “illegal Bangladeshi migrants” and send them back.