Written bySiddhant Pandey ·
On Tuesday, Home Minister Amit Shah said that there has been no discussion on nationwide National Register of Citizens (NRC) at the moment, hours after the Centre green-lit the National Population Register (NPR) exercise in 2020.
Shah said the NRC and the NPR have no link, even though the Narendra Modi government has linked the two several times in the past.
Speaking to ANI, Shah said, "There is no need to debate this (pan-India NRC) as there is no discussion on it right now, PM Modi was right, there is no discussion on it yet either in the Cabinet or Parliament."
He said the NRC hasn't been spoken of in the Parliament in relation to the Citizenship Amendment Act.
Notably, Shah has previously clarified the "chronology" of events, announcing that (non-Muslim) refugees will first be given citizenship under CAA and then the National Register of Indian Citizens (NRIC) will be created. He has also spoken on implementing NRIC in Parliament as early as December.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at a rally in Delhi on Sunday, "Since my government has come to power, since 2014, there has been no discussion on NRC anywhere. Only after the Supreme Court's order, this exercise was done for Assam."
He also said there are no detention centers in India and that the Opposition and "Urban Naxals" are spreading lies.
Unlike the PM, Shah admitted to there being detention centers in Assam and Karnataka. However, quite like the PM, he gave a misleading reply.
Shah said the detention centers aren't linked to NRC and are part of a continuous process to detain foreigners before they can be deported.
"No detention center is functional and none have come up under the Modi regime," he said.
However, the fact is that the government is constructing India's largest detention center in Assam's Goalpora. The Home Ministry allocated Rs. 46.41cr for its construction in 2018. The government is also in the process of establishing detention centers in West Bengal, Karnataka, and Maharashtra.
Shah also said that the NPR and NRC are not linked. He said NPR data cannot be used for NRC.
"Some people are spreading rumors," he said.
Interestingly, the Modi government itself admitted, several times, that the NPR is the first step towards the implementation of the NRC.
On Monday, the government allocated a Rs. 3,941 cr budget for NPR next year.
NPR=NRC. How much more will the Modi government lie and mislead the people? It was stated clearly on the record in the Rajya Sabha by this government, that the National Population Register is the base document from where the NRC work will start. (Page 2 below, last paragraph) pic.twitter.com/FvvuTkMwBv— Sitaram Yechury (@SitaramYechury) December 24, 2019
The Citizenship Amendment Act triggered nationwide protests as it, for the first time, makes religion a criterion for the grant of citizenship. The law accords Indian citizenship to non-Muslim illegal immigrants from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh.
The NRC is a register to enumerate Indian citizens, however, when it was implemented in Assam, 19 lakh people were declared "foreigners."
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