JDU national spokesperson Pavan K Varma (File image)
JDU national spokesperson Pavan K Varma (File image)

CAA-NRC attempt to divide Hindu, Muslim, says JDU's Pavan Varma in letter to Nitish, urges for principled stand

ANI | Updated: Jan 05, 2020 13:18 IST

New Delhi [India], Jan 5 (ANI): The differences within the Janata Dal (United) over the party's support to contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 have come out in the open with the party's national spokesperson Pavan K Varma writing an open letter to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, expressing his deep disappointment and demanding a principled stand on CAA-NPR-NRC.
In the letter, the former member of Rajya Sabha has asserted that the nation is at a crucial crossroad and the choice before the political leaders is stark: "Either to work to save the idea of India as a plural, composite, multi-religious nation in which there is respect for all faiths, and social harmony and peace prevails, or, to see it being divided by organised attempts at creating discord and acrimony among Indians on the basis of religion."
Varma also claimed the CAA-NRC combine was a direct attempt to divide Hindus and Muslims and to create social instability.
"Besides, it will impose great hardships on Indians as a whole including especially the poor, the marginalised and the vulnerable belonging to all communities. The Central government needs to focus on the real priorities of governance such as the disastrous state of the economy, the absence of jobs, and agrarian distress, rather than such schemes whose only aim is to destroy the unity and social cohesion of our great country", the JDU leader writes in the letter, which is stark in contradiction to his party's official stand which supported the citizenship bill in parliament.
Varma also appealed to Chief Minister Kumar to reconsider the party's support to the divisive and discriminatory CAB.
"I was deeply disappointed when my request went unheeded," he said in the letter.
Varma also expressed his surprise over the statement made by Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi regarding the implementation of NPR in Bihar in May this year and stated that Chief Minister Kumar must say no to the revised NPR as he has "categorically stated that there will be no NRC in Bihar."
Citing incidents of crack-down on anti-CAA protestors, JDU spokesperson Varma also requested to take a principled stand on the CAA-NPR-NRC and "reject its nefarious agenda to divide India and create a great deal of unnecessary social turbulence."
"A clear cut public statement by you to this effect would be a major step towards preserving and strengthening the idea of India to which, I know, you yourself are committed. The politics of principle cannot be sacrificed at the altar of short term political gain. India is greater than individual position or power or electoral success or failure or such transient considerations," reads Varma's open letter.
Earlier on December 15, Varma had welcomed Nitish Kumar's decision not to support the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and demanded that the Bihar Chief Minister should issue a public statement on the same.
BJP's ally JDU was among the parties which supported the passage of CAB in the Lower House of parliament.
The Lok Sabha passed the Citizenship Bill with a majority of 311 votes against 80 votes, where 391 members were present and voted.
In the Rajya Sabha, the BJP government required the support of at least 123 MPs in the 245-member House, which the party managed to garner.
The new citizenship law seeks to give citizenship to Hindu, Christian, Sikh, Buddhist and Zoroastrian refugees from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, who came to India on or before December 31, 2014. (ANI)