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News18 » Politics
2-min read

Prashant Kishor Doubles Down on NRC Stand, Calls it 'Demonetisation of Citizenship' in Jibe at Modi Govt

Prashant Kishor made the remark a day after his resignation was rejected by party president and Bihar CM Nitish Kumar in a closed-door meeting.

News18.com

Updated:December 15, 2019, 10:30 AM IST
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Prashant Kishor Doubles Down on NRC Stand, Calls it 'Demonetisation of Citizenship' in Jibe at Modi Govt
File photo of JD(U) vice-president and election strategist Prashant Kishor.

New Delhi: Upping the ante against ally BJP over the contentious National Register of Citizens (NRC), JD(U) vice-president and election strategist Prashant Kishor called the exercise “demonetisation of citizenship”.

Kishor made the remark, an apparent reference to the Narendra Modi government decision to demonetize Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes in 2016, a day after his resignation was rejected by party president and Bihar CM Nitish Kumar in a closed-door meeting.

“The idea of nation wide NRC is equivalent to demonetisation of citizenship....invalid till you prove it otherwise. The biggest sufferers would be the poor and the marginalised...we know from the experience!!#NotGivingUp,” Kishor tweeted on Sunday morning.

Talking to reporters after meeting Kumar on Saturday night, Kishor, however, had said that the amended Citizenship Act was, per se, not a "major cause for worry" but it could be problematic in combination with the proposed NRC.

The law allows for granting citizenship to non-Muslim immigrants from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan, while the NRC exercise would compile the names of all genuine Indian citizens.

On Wednesday, Kishor had tweeted that the legislation "could turn into a lethal combo" (with NRC) to systematically discriminate and even prosecute people based on religion.

Asked what Nitish Kumar thought of the NRC, which he had criticised, Kishor said the CM has made his stand clear in the past and being the national president of JD(U), it is for him to make any fresh statement on the issue.

His views on the NRC and citizenship bill echo similar sentiments expressed by West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, the latest clients for Kishor-led consultancy firm I-PAC.

The political advocacy group was part of the successful election campaign of Narendra Modi in 2014 when he was BJP's prime ministerial candidate.

Kishor’s earlier tweet against the citizenship law was frowned upon by the BJP, but opposition parties like the RLSP and the HAM had beckoned him to join the grand alliance. The alliance comprises Congress, for which Kishor worked in Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, and RJD, headed by Lalu Prasad with whom he is known to have a cordial relation.

After joining JD(U), an NDA ally, Kishor has collaborated with political leaders like Chandrababu Naidu and Mamata Banerjee. His latest decision to provide professional assistance to AAP, which rules Delhi, where the JD(U) is expected to contest the assembly polls early next year, has triggered much speculation.

However, when asked about it, Kishor replied, "I am associated with the company but do not own it. There is no reason why this professional collaboration should in any way interfere with my party's political goals."

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