Nationalist Congress Party leader and Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Sunday said that the Citizenship Amendment Act, the National Register of Citizens and the National Population Register will not take away anyone’s citizenship, PTI reported on Monday.
Addressing a convention of the Nationalist Congress Party in Mumbai, Pawar said it was unnecessary for the state Assembly to pass a resolution against the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Population Register, as some other Opposition-ruled states had done.
Pawar’s uncle and NCP chief Sharad Pawar had said last month that like eight other states, Maharashtra too should bring a resolution against the CAA, NRC and NPR. Sharad Pawar was present at Sunday’s event, but did not contradict his nephew.
Ajit Pawar said some people have been spreading misinformation about the CAA, NRC and NPR. He referred, as evidence, to a resolution passed by the Bihar Assembly last month to not implement the NRC in the state. The Assembly had also said that the NPR would be implemented according to its 2010 format, not the new format proposed by the Narendra Modi-led central government.
At the same event, Sharad Pawar blamed Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah for the violence between supporters and opponents of the CAA in New Delhi, and accused them of trying to polarise society, The Indian Express reported. At least 45 people have died and over 200 injured in riots in Delhi last week.
After meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month, Shiv Sena leader and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had asserted that nobody needs to fear about the CAA. The Congress, the third party in the ruling alliance, has demanded a resolution against the CAA, NRC and NPR in the state Assembly.
CAA, NRC and NPR
The Citizenship Amendment Act, approved by Parliament on December 11, provides citizenship to refugees from six minority religious communities from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, on the condition that 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 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 National Register of Citizens, 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 National Register of Citizens”.