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No Discussion on Pan-India NRC Yet in Either Parliament or Cabinet, Says Amit Shah

The BJP leader also sought to allay fears by "clearly stating" there is no link between the NRC and the National Population Register (NPR).

News18.com

Updated:December 25, 2019, 10:00 AM IST
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No Discussion on Pan-India NRC Yet in Either Parliament or Cabinet, Says Amit Shah
File photo of Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

New Delhi: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday stated that there has been no discussion in either the Parliament or the Cabinet about a pan-India National Register of Citizens (NRC).

“There is no need to debate this (a pan-India NRC) as there is no discussion on it right now,” Shah said in an interview with news agency ANI. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi was right, there is no discussion on it yet either in the Cabinet or Parliament.”

Shah sought to allay the fears by "clearly stating" there is no link between the NRC and the National Population Register (NPR). His assurance came after opposition parties pointed out past instances when his ministry and junior ministers had linked the two together.

The NPR seeks to create a comprehensive identity database of every "usual resident" of the country and has been described as the first step towards conducting an all-India NRC exercise.

However, Shah during a debate in the Lok Sabha on the Citizenship Amendment Act earlier this month had said that the implementation of a nationwide NRC was in the offing.

Shah said that information obtained through the NPR cannot be used for NRC, which is a separate process. Earlier on Tuesday, the Union Cabinet approved the proposal to update the NPR.

Shah said while the Census was held every 10 years and the NPR was started by the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, the BJP-led government took it forward as it is "a good exercise".

“It is possible that some names are missed in the NPR, still their citizenship will not be revoked because this is not the process of NRC. The NRC is a different process,” he said. “I want to make it clear that nobody will lose citizenship because of NPR.”

Shah also sought to clarify that there is no connection between detention centres and the NRC or the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which has witnessed several protests across the country. "The (detention) centre has been there for years and is for illegal migrants," he said. "Misinformation is being spread on this."

Shah urged the governments of West Bengal and Kerala to go ahead with the NPR after both states said they would stop work on the exercise. "I humbly appeal to both chief ministers again -- don't take such a step and please review you decisions, don't keep the poor out of development programs just for your politics," he said.

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