New Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind did not refer to NRC in his address to the joint sitting of Parliament at the beginning of the Budget Session on Friday, seven months after announcing that information about every Indian will be collected for the database on "priority basis".
On June 20, 2019, soon after the formation of the new Lok Sabha, Kovind had said that illegal infiltrators posed a major threat to India's internal security and this was leading to social imbalance in many parts of the country as well as putting a huge pressure on limited livelihood opportunities.
"My government has decided to implement the process of 'National Register of Citizens' on priority basis in areas affected by infiltration. Security along the border will be further strengthened to prevent infiltration," he had said.
However, on Friday, the President made no reference to the NRC. There have been countrywide protests against the NRC and the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. The CAA was enacted by Parliament in December 2019.
Following the protests, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on December 22, 2019, sought to allay apprehensions on the NRC, especially among Muslims, saying his government has never discussed it since it came to power for the first time in 2014.
It has been discussed neither in Parliament nor in the Cabinet, he had said.
"Since my government first came to power in 2014, I want to tell 130 crore countrymen, there has never been a discussion on this NRC," Modi said, noting that it was done only in Assam due to a Supreme Court order.
"The citizenship law or the NRC has nothing to do with Indian Muslims. They have nothing to worry," Modi said, accusing the Congress, its allies and "urban naxals" of spreading rumour that Muslims will be sent to detention centres.
The Supreme Court monitored exercise of updating the NRC was carried out only in Assam. In the final NRC, a list of Assam's residents published on August 31, 2019, excluded names of 19 lakh people, creating a huge controversy.