Pawan Varma speaking to ANI over NRC on Sunday.
Pawan Varma speaking to ANI over NRC on Sunday.

CAA, NRC together discriminatory, divisive, govt should have other priorities, says Pavan Varma

ANI | Updated: Jan 05, 2020 15:12 IST

New Delhi [India], Jan 5 (ANI): Sharpening his attack against the issues of National Population Register (NPR), Nation Register of Citizens (NRC) and Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), BJP ally Janata Dal (United)'s national spokesperson Pawan Varma on Sunday said that the acts when put together are discriminatory and divisive and is not among the measures needed by the country at this time.
Claiming that NPR was the first step to NRC, Varma told ANI, "Amit Shah may say whatever he wants today. But his own government, his minister and he himself had said that the NPR is the first step towards carrying out NRC. When we see the CAA, NRC together, we have said that it is discriminatory, it is divisive, it's against social peace and harmony in the country and against particularly the poor, the marginalised and vulnerable on whom great hardship will be imposed in the search for requisite documentation."
He also said that the Central government should have other priorities like tackling the disastrous state of the economy, agrarian distress, etc, even as he appealed the Bihar Chief Minister to reject NRC.
"We believe that this is not a measure that is needed by the country at this time, in the manner in which it is presented. The government should have other priorities and it should deal with the disastrous state of the economy, lack of jobs and agrarian distress. I appeal to Nitish to take a public stand in this regard and since he has rejected NRC, he must also reject NPR," he said.
He also stated that his objections were limited to NPR and NRC and he doesn't have any issue with the census which was a regular exercise.
"The census is a regular exercise that takes place every ten years and that can continue to be held on the same basis. The NPR when you see in the context of CAA and NRC and the statement that NPR is the first step to NRC, we believe that NPR should not be held at this time. Hence we believe that NPR must be rejected along with NRC," the JDU leader said.
Union Cabinet on December 24 approved a proposal to update NPR. The NPR was discussed thoroughly at the meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019, seeks to grant Indian citizenship to Hindu, Christian, Sikh, Buddhist and Parsi refugees from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh and who entered India on or before December 31, 2014. NRC seeks to identify illegal immigrants in the country. It was rolled out in Assam on the directions of the Supreme Court where 19 lakh people were excluded in the final list. (ANI)