Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday appeared to backtrack on BJP and Amit Shah’s promise of bringing a pan-India NRC following the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
● PM Modi said on Sunday, “There has been no discussion on NRC anywhere”
● Amit Shah has time and promised to bring a pan-India NRC
● Even the 2019 BJP manifesto mentions bringing NRC “to other parts of the country”
As the country continues to remain on the edge over protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) combined with NDA government’s promise to get a pan-India NRC, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday appeared to be backtracking on what Home Minister Amit Shah has promised on multiple forums, including the Parliament.
Addressing a massive gathering in Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan amid the continued protests over CAA across the country, including the national capital, PM Modi said his government had never discussed anything about an NRC apart from the one in Assam.
PM Modi said on Sunday, “I want to tell the 130 crore people of India that ever since my government came to power in 2014… from then until now… there has been no discussion on NRC anywhere… we only had to implement it in Assam to follow Supreme Court directives.”
Modi said lies were being spread about the NRC and asserted that the previous Congress governments had mooted it. His government has not discussed it so far either in Parliament or in Cabinet, he added.
However, PM Modi also added that infiltrators never “reveal” themselves unlike refugees who never “hide” their identities.
What Union Home Minister AMIT SHAH said on NRC
This stands in direct contrast with what Amit Shah has promised on several occasions about introducing the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in West Bengal and across the country to weed out illegal immigrants.
Amit Shah has time and again defended the amended citizenship law as nothing against the Indian Muslims. He has said that people belonging to any religion should not have any fear under the Modi government as he asserted that the Citizenship Amendment Act would give relief to those minorities who have been living a painful life after facing persecution in neighbouring countries.
Amit Shah has also said that the Modi government will definitely implement the National Register of Citizens (NRC) across the country and when it will be done, not a single illegal immigrant will remain in the country.
Speaking at the Lok Sabha during the CAA debate, Amit Shah had said, “When we introduce the all-India NRC, we will bring it to this House and then we can hold a discussion on it. Don’t try to connect the citizenship bill with NRC. Maan ke chaliye NRC aane wala hai (But you should keep this in mind that NRC is about to come).”
Earlier in December, while addressing an election rally in Jharkhand, Amit Shah had even set a deadline to implement NRC across the country. Amit Shah said the government would expel all infiltrators before the next Lok Sabha election which is scheduled for 2024.
On Thursday as the anti-CAA protests raged across several states, BJP working president JP Nadda said, “India is marching ahead under Prime Minister Narendra Modi and will continue to do so. The Citizenship (Amendment) Act will be implemented, so will be the NRC in future.”
BJP MANIFESTO ON NRC
Even the 2019 Lok Sabha election manifesto of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) states introducing NRC in “other parts of the country” as a promise.
Under the section named ‘Combating Infiltration’, the BJP manifesto states, “There has been a huge change in the cultural and linguistic identity of some areas due to illegal immigration, resulting in an adverse impact on local people’s livelihood and employment. We will expeditiously complete the National Register of Citizens process in these areas on priority. In future we will implement the NRC in a phased manner in other parts of the country.”