Amid ongoing debate and nationwide protests over Modi government’s contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC), Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has 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.
Ravi Shankar also launched a scathing attack against the senior Congress leader P Chidambaram for Opposing CAA and NRC. Prasad said that it was Chidambaram, who had informed the Lok Sabha in 2010 that ‘it is obvious’ that a citizens’ register will be a ‘subset of the National Population Register (NPR)’. “The Congress owned up both the NPR and the NRC as a subset”, the BJP leader told the leading daily.
On being asked if NPR data would be used for an NRC, Prasad said that some may be used and some may not be. The minister also assured that no Indian Muslim will be affected by the CAA. “No Indian can get or be denied citizenship because of CAA”, Prasad said when asked if Hindus could use CAA as shield if excluded from the NRC.
“The NRC is a different concept altogether… The Citizenship (Registration of Citizen and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003, talk about the NPR… There is need for an NPR because Census details cannot be made public to any authority, but the NPR is required to frame policies for the delivery of welfare schemes,” Ravi Shankar Prasad said to The Sunday Express.
On Congress objections, Prasad said, “In May 2010, while replying to a debate on Census 2011, the well-informed Chidambaram said, ‘It will be obvious that Register of Citizens will be a subset of the Population Register’. The Congress owned up both the NPR and the NRC as a subset.”