Union Home Minister Amit Shah has repeatedly said that there was no plan about pan-India NRC. (Photo Credit: File Photo)
Amid the ongoing protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act, the Narendra Modi government on Tuesday made an official announcement over the pan-India NRC exercise. In a written reply, Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai told the Lok Sabha that ‘till now, no decision was taken to carry out the National Register of Citizens initiative across the country.” Rai was answering the set of question which had sought the Centre’s response on: a- Whether the government has any plans to introduce NRC all over the country; b- whether the government is aware that the NRC will put extra burden on Indian citizens. The query also sought to know if there was any timeframe for the NRC. Rai said that since no decision was taken on NRC, there was no question about any timeframe.
Though this is the first time that the government has made any official statement in the Lok Sabha, outside Parliament, Union Home Minister Amit Shah has repeatedly said that there was no plan about pan-India NRC. “There is no need to debate this (pan-India NRC), as there is no discussion on it right now, PM Modi was right, there is no discussion on it yet either in the Cabinet or Parliament,” Shah had said during an ANI interview. Shah had further said that there is “no link between the National Population Register (NPR) and the National Register of Citizens”.
Senior Modi Ministers have tried to allay fear of the people amid the ongoing protests. Earlier, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had asserted that a ‘proper legal process’ will be followed for the implementation of the act. While speaking to The Sunday Express, Ravi Shankar Prasad said, ‘proper legal process’ including consultation with state governments will be followed for the implementation of the NRC across the country.
“Nothing will be a secret on an NRC. There is a legal process. First a decision, second a notification, then the process, the verification, the objection, the hearing of the objection, right of appeal. There will be a consultation with the state government, feedback will be taken. If anything is to be done, it will be done publicly”, Prasad said in an exclusive interview to The Sunday Express.
However, Opposition leaders such as AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi have accused Narendra Modi government of misleading people on the issues of Citizenship Act, National Population Register and National Register of Citizens. In an exclusive interview with News Nation, Owaisi said that NPR and NRC are two sides of the same coin. Asaduddin Owaisi explained his stand on various issues including the violence during the anti-CAA protests and his reasons for opposing NRC and NPR.