Monday, 30th October 2017

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NRC needless, illogical: Nitish

Nitish’s party, the JDU, had supported the CAA in the Parliament which had led to friction among party leaders

By Dev Raj in Patna
  • Published 14.01.20, 2:18 AM
  • Updated 14.01.20, 2:18 AM
  • 2 mins read
Nitish Kumar Telegraph file picture

The all-India National Register of Citizens (NRC) is needless, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar said in the Assembly on Monday and and asserted that it will not be implemented in the state.

He also called for a debate on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and the National Population Register (NPR), and supported the demand for a caste census in the country.

“As far as NRC is concerned, there is no question of its implementation here. It was brought in the context of Assam. Unnecessary implementation of the NRC in the country is needless. It is illogical,” Nitish said. “There was no discussion of NRC in the context of the whole country…. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also clarified.”

He was speaking while thanking the members of the Assembly for unanimously supporting the 126th amendment to the Constitution to extend the reservations to the Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) in the Lok Sabha and state Assemblies for 10 years from January 25, 2020 to January 25, 2030.

About the NPR, which many have cited as the NRC in disguise, Nitish said all states had given their nod for it in 2010 “but now it is coming to light that other things are also being asked in the NPR. Many other things are also being debated these days. We will discuss them all, be it CAA or anything else.”

Nitish said that these issues would be taken up for discussion in the forthcoming budget session of the legislature in February.

Nitish’s party, the JDU, had supported the CAA in the Parliament which had led to friction among party leaders.

Muslim JDU members had denounced the stand and JDU vice-president and poll strategist Prashant Kishor as well as JDU national general-secretary Pavan K. Varma had openly criticised the party’s support to the CAA.

They had asked Nitish to categorically reject the new citizenship matrix of CAA, NPR and NRC, pointing that they were all interlinked.

Bihar has seen strong protests over the matrix, violence at several places, the death of a teenager and arrests of thousands of people. Protests are still continuing in pockets of the state.

“Nitish is in a dilemma over the way the things have shaped up in our country in the last few months,” a senior JDU leader told The Telegraph. “There seems to be a deliberate attempt to divide people in the name of religion. He (Nitish) has to protect his secular image, which has been his lifetime achievement.”

Nitish, speaking in the legislative assembly, also supported the demand for caste census in the country to find out the numerical strength of different castes.

“A caste census or survey was conducted in 2010, but it was done poorly and its data was not published due to various discrepancies. The last caste census was done in our country in 1930 and a long time has passed since then. There is a need for another such census,” Nitish said.

Previously, speaking during the discussion on the 126th Amendment to the Constitution, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Prasad Yadav, who is also the Leader of Opposition in the legislative Assembly, Congress legislature party leader Sadanand Singh, and CPI-ML legislator Satyadeo Ram had raised the issues related to CAA, NRC, NPR and caste census. They demanded special sessions of the legislature to be convened to discuss them and pointed that the chief minister has not clarified on the issues till now.