New Delhi: Facing an internal rift over the Citizenship Amendment Act, BJP ally Janata Dal United has now demanded that the NDA convene a meeting of all constituents to forge a consensus on the contentious legislation that has triggered country-wide protests.
Speaking to News18, JDU spokesperson KC Tyagi said Prime Minister Narendra Modi should take the initiative to take the NDA allies into confidence after which the government must reach out to opposition members and protesters. He also said the prime minister must assure the people of the country that National Register of Citizens (NRC) — which is more contentious an issue compared to CAA — will not be implemented.
Tyagi said the party will oppose the clubbing of NRC and CAA and condemned RJD’s Bharat Bandh, saying after Chief Minister’s assurance that NRC would not be implemented in the state, there was no need for protests.
The JDU faced rebellion in the ranks when the party's national vice-president Prashant Kishor and national general secretary Pavan K Varma expressed their reservation with the law despite the party having voted in favour of CAA in Parliament. Both the leaders called the Act “unconstitutional” and “discriminatory” besides being “against the secular principles of the JD(U)”.
Another BJP ally, the Lok Janshakti Party, too said the government had erred on the issue of the citizenship law since it was unable to convince people about the Act while the opposition succeeded in spreading rumours.
Saying it was too late for a discussion on the issue, LJP chief Chirag Paswan said the government should make its intentions clear. Paswan also said no one was clear about the NRC process yet but if the Assam process was repeated, his party would not support it.
The Citizenship Amendment Act, which seeks to grant citizenship to non-Muslims fleeing adjacent Islamic republics because of "persecution", has led to massive protests across the country and led to the death of over 15 people.