Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Friday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah of plunging the country into “turmoil and unrest” with an ill-thought out Citizenship Amendment Act, National Register of Citizens and the National Population Register.
“The government has failed on every front,” Gehlot tweeted. “Now to divert public attention from real problems, they are raising such issues and fueling unrest, disrupting communal harmony.” Gehlot demanded that the government revoke the Citizenship Amendment Act and assure the country that the National Register of Citizens will not be implemented.
The Rajasthan chief minister said that the Citizenship Amendment Act should have been rolled back as people across the country are protesting against it. He accused Modi and Shah of speaking in different tongues.
“To mislead the nation, PM says one thing, HM [home minister] says something else,” Gehlot tweeted. “It is only increasing fear among people.” The chief minister alleged that Modi and Shah have been increasing uncertainty by making contradictory claims. He demanded that Modi come out with “facts and truth”.
Shah had on Tuesday claimed that there was no link between the National Population Register and the National Register of Citizens. He also said that there had been no discussion in the government about the National Register of Citizens, and that those excluded from it would not be sent to detention camps. His remarks came on the same day that the Centre approved funds of more than Rs 3,900 crore to update the National Population Register.
The population register is linked to the census, due in 2021, and is a list of “usual residents” in the country.
Modi, at a rally in Delhi on Sunday, had said that there are no immediate plans for the National Register of Citizens, and accused the Opposition of trying to mislead the people.
There have been massive protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens in the country over the last two weeks, resulting in the deaths of at least 25 people. The Citizenship Amendment Act, passed by Parliament on December 11, provides citizenship to refugees from six minority religious communities from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, so long as they have entered India on or before December 31, 2014. However, it exempts Muslims from its purview.
On the other hand, the National Register of Citizens is an exercise meant to distinguish between undocumented migrants living in India from genuine Indian citizens. One such exercise, carried out in Assam earlier this year, led to the exclusion of 19 lakh people.
‘Country cannot be run without involving all sections’: Rahul Gandhi
Meanwhile, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said at an event in Raipur, Chhattisgarh on Friday, that the country cannot be run without involving every section of the society, PTI reported. He was speaking at the inaugural function of National Tribal Dance Festival, 2019, at the Science College ground in the city.
“You know the condition of the country,” Gandhi said in an apparent reference to the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens. “You all know the problem of farmers’ suicides, deteriorating condition of the economy and unemployment...without taking people from every religion, every caste, tribal, Dalits and backward classes together, the economy of the country cannot be run.”