Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday said there is no need to debate the pan-India National Register of Citizens (NRC), adding that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was right when he said at a rally in Delhi that there was no discussion on it yet either in the Cabinet or Parliament. “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 told news agency ANI in an interview.
Shah added that there is “no link between the National Population Register (NPR) and the National Register of Citizens”.
#WATCH Home Minister Amit Shah to ANI: 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 pic.twitter.com/hgHJ3IBFCO— ANI (@ANI) December 24, 2019
The Home Minister's remarks comes on a day the Union Cabinet approved the proposal for conducting Census of India 2021 and updating of NPR.
His statements come even as widespread protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 under way and a general fear of nationwide implementation of National Register of Citizens. Commenting further, Shah said the singular aim of National Population Register was to help the government to streamline development efforts and schemes by identifying the right beneficiary.
Hitting back at president of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) Asaduddin Owaisi over his comment on NPR and NPC, Shah said: “If we say that the sun rises from the east, then Owaisi ji will say no it rises from the west, he always opposes our stand. Still I again assure him that CAA has nothing to do with the NRC.
At a public address in New Delhi on Sunday, Modi had asserted that his government never discussed a nationwide NRC. Modi’s comments came after a number of senior BJP leaders, including Shah and national working president JP Nadda, stating that a nationwide NRC would be carried out. During his reply to the discussion on the Citizenship Amendment Bill, Shah had told Lok Sabha on December 9 that the Modi government will definitely roll out a nation-wide NRC to identify and expel infiltrators.
Asked about the large dentention centres being built in the country, Amit Shah said: "Detention centres are a continuous process. This country has some laws, we cannot let anyone who enters the country illegally to live here. When these people get caught, they are put in detention centres for trial."
The minister said while Census was held every 10 years and NPR was started by the UPA government and the government was carrying it forward as it was a "good exercise". "NPR is register of population, NRC is register of citizens. There is no link between the two and the two have different processes," Amit Shah told ANI.