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NPR is NRC in disguise, alleges Congress leader Ajay Maken


Press Trust of India Patna
The Congress on Friday charged the Narendra Modi government at the Centre with working on the National Register for Citizens across the country in the garb of National Population Register, which received the cabinet nod earlier this week.
AICC spokesman Ajay Maken, who was speaking to newsmen, sought to buttress the point by citing that the NPR forms are seeking informations like mobile numbers of all family members and driving license details which had not been sought when the NPR was last conducted in the 2010-11 by the UPA government in which he was the minister of state for home.
Maken also rejected the governments contention that these details were to be shared voluntarily and not mandatorily.
The NPR forms have an ambiguous 'if available' clause. Anybody who does not share these details would run the risk of his citizenship being deemed doubtful," he told a press conference here.
Asserting that the NRC has always been on the BJPs agenda, Maken pointed out that way back in 2003 when the NDA was in power it had brought out an amendment in the Citizenship Act seeking to make registration of every citizen compulsory.
When we (Congress) came to power in 2004, there was a pilot project being carried out in a union territory with a small population of 3.1 million. We junked it though the BJP had sought to implement it across the country, as it was found that less than half of the residents could produce valid documents. Most of them were poor who had no means to be in possession of documentary proof of citizenship, the Congress leader pointed out.
Repudiating Prime Minister Narendra Modis contention that the opposition is making noise over NRC when it was not in the offing, Maken said There have been countless occasions, on the floor of the Parliament and at public meetings, when he has given a clear indication of his intentions.
At an election rally in West Bengal earlier this year, he had said that immigrants will be dealt with once NRC is rolled out across the country, Maken said.
Defending the Congress decision to oppose the Citizenship Amendment Act, he said the legislation is the greatest onslaught on the Constitution which guarantees non- discrimination to citizens on the basis of their religion, caste, sex and place of birth.
Maken said the legislation blatantly states that citizenship will be given to those who are non-Muslims and have come from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. "It is for this reason that tomorrow, December 28, the Congress will be observing its foundation day as Samvidhan Bachao Desh Bachao Diwas (save the constitution, save the country day) across the country.
He also deplored the language used by Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath about those engaged in protests against CAA and NRC, saying it showed their unwillingness to take everybody along and to repress all forms of dissent.

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First Published: Dec 27 2019 | 7:05 PM IST

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