A day before the ‘mammoth’ rally against NRC was to take place, the Bihar Assembly passed a resolution against the NRC implementation.
Bihar is the first NDA-ruled state to pass a resolution against the NRC and for the 2010 form of NPR, opening a window for the Centre to make a retreat on these issues, if and when needed in future.
Deputy CM and senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi, however, saw “no contradiction” between the Centre’s stand and that of the JD(U)-BJP government in Bihar.
“There is no contradiction. The CM has supported the Citizenship Amendment Act. The Prime Minister has already denied any move on the NRC and states are entitled to make suggestions on the NPR,” Modi told sections of the media
Political observers say Nitish Kumar is disinclined to allow any divisive issues, such as the NRC and the NPR, to dominate the electoral discourse in Bihar that is slated to go to polls in October-November this year.
But it wasn’t just the concern for the Muslim vote bank that prompted Kumar-led NDA government to secure an assembly resolution against NRC, and for the implementation of the NPR in its 2010 form.
A panic over birth certificates, especially in other weaker sections of the society, the Opposition’s criticism and settling equations with alliance partner BJP were the other factors that played a role in Nitish Kumar’s decision, according to leaders in the state.
Bihar assembly passed a resolution not to implement NRC in Bihar and that the National Population Register (NPR) should be implemented “in its 2010 form” with one amendment.
Replying to an adjournment motion on Citizens’ Amendment Act (CAA)-NPR-NRC, moved by leader of opposition Tejashwi Yadav and others, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, who is also national president of the NDA’s ally JDU, told the House that his government has written a letter to the Centre “seeking omission of contentious clauses from NPR forms”.
Kumar said his government sought introduction of a “transgenders” column in the form.
“Bihar assembly has passed unanimous resolution not to implement the NRC/NPR,” Yadav tweeted soon after.
The Chief Minister suggested that the state government’s letter to the Centre about NPR could be treated as a resolution and passed unanimously by the House.
He added there should not be any confusion about the exercise to be carried out in the state for NPR, making it clear that no one would be asked to furnish information like birthplace of parents. The move is politically significant in view of the opposition parties’ continuous attempts to use the CAA, NPR and NRC as potential issues against the NDA, seven months ahead of the assembly polls in Bihar.
CPI leader and former JNSU president Kanhaiya Kumar held a series of public meetings across the state in protest against the CAA and NRC.
The CM also urged the Opposition to refrain from creating a controversy over the citizenship law while it was being examined by the Supreme Court. He also appealed to the Opposition not to raise the “bogey” of the NRC despite the Prime Minister’s clarification that it was not on the anvil.
-From media sources