Uttar Pradesh Bharatiya Janata Party President Swatantra Dev Singh on Wednesday lashed out at Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav for opposing the National Population Register and the National Register of Citizens, PTI reported. He said Yadav should stay in Pakistan for a month to understand the “atrocities” faced by Hindus.
His comments came after Yadav had on December 29 said he would not fill the NPR form. The register is described by the Census of India as “the first step towards the creation of a National Register of Citizens”, which is a proposed exercise to identify undocumented immigrants. The former Uttar Pradesh chief minister added that the BJP will not get the privilege to decide who are citizens of the country.
“Akhilesh should stay in Pakistan for one month and pray in Hindu temples, then he will have first-hand experience of atrocities committed on Hindus in Pakistan,” the state BJP chief told reporters in Vrindavan. “There is nothing wrong in the NPR as it provides simple options like presentation of Aadhaar card or driving licence, etc or confirmation by three residents of the area that the person is a bonafide resident of the area.”
Singh also asserted that the Citizenship Amendment Act was not against the poor and accused Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra of misguiding the people about the law. “The visit of Priyanka to victims of riots with the sole purpose of misguiding them and creating a ruckus, is objectionable, since people are misguided about the CAA,” he said.
He added that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah are trying to provide a respectable life to people who are affected by the atrocities in Pakistan through the amended citizenship law. “Owing to the negative approach of the Congress, the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party on the CAA, neither Hindus nor Muslims will vote in their favour,” Singh claimed.
Following two weeks of massive protests, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had last month claimed that the National Population Register had nothing to do with the National Register of Citizens, and that the government had not yet discussed NRC. However, Opposition parties accused Shah of contradicting his own statements from the past.
The Citizenship Amendment Act, approved by Parliament on December 11, provides citizenship to refugees from six minority religious communities from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, provided they have lived in India for six years and entered the country by December 31, 2014. The Act has been widely criticised for excluding Muslims.
The National Register of Citizens is a proposed nationwide exercise to identify undocumented migrants. It was carried out in Assam last year. Its final list excluded 19 lakh people, or 6% of the state’s population.