Janata Dal (United) leader and political strategist Prashant Kishor on Sunday lauded the Congress for protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens.
“I join my voice with all to thank [the] Congress leadership for their formal and unequivocal rejection of CAA and NRC,” he tweeted. “Both Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi deserves special thanks for their efforts on this count.” He also claimed that the amended citizenship law and the NRC will not be implemented in Bihar.
The Congress Working Committee on Saturday passed a resolution demanding the rollback of the Citizenship Amendment Act, which was notified by the Home Ministry on January 10, and an end to the process of updating the National Population Register. The party’s President Sonia Gandhi said the Narendra Modi-led government had passed the law that was discriminatory and intends to divide Indians on religious lines.
The population register is linked to the Census, due in 2021, and is a list of “usual residents” in the country. However, it has also been linked to the NRC – a proposed nationwide exercise to identify undocumented migrants and differentiate them from citizens of India. The Census of India website has described the NPR as “the first step towards the creation of a NRC”.
On December 29, Kishor had questioned Sonia Gandhi’s silence on NRC, and sought a statement on it from her to bring about clarity. Kishor had then pointed out that the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government did not amend the Citizenship Act when it had an opportunity do so. He had also said that Congress-ruled states should declare that they will not allow the implementation of the NRC.
The Citizenship Amendment Act, approved by Parliament on December 11 and signed into law by President Ram Nath Kovind on December 13, 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. At least 26 people died in protests against the citizenship law. Of these, 19 died in Uttar Pradesh, five in Assam and two in Karnataka.