A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi sought to allay apprehensions on the National Register of Citizens, a senior BJP leader on Monday said a nationwide NRC will be implemented but only after “detailed discussions”.
At a press conference in Jaipur, BJP national vice president Shivraj Singh Chouhan alleged that the Congress was trying to create confusion among people over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and NRC.
“Discussions about the NRC are going on and suggestions have been sought but confusion is being created. The NRC will also be implemented but after detailed discussions,” he said.
On Sunday, PM Modi had said at a rally in Delhi, "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."
The prime minister had noted that the exercise was done only in Assam due to a Supreme Court order.
Congratulating the prime minister on the passage of CAA in Parliament, the former Madhya Pradesh chief minister compared Modi to "God" for the persecuted migrants from Pakistan.
He said, “Modi has come as God for migrants whose lives were not safe, who lived in an environment of instability and who used to say that they will die but will not return to Pakistan. They have got a new lease of life.”
Targeting Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot for his announcement that the government will not implement CAA in the state, Chouhan said that all states will have to implement the Act because it was a subject coming under the Union List (of the Constitution).
“Chief ministers of Rajasthan, West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh are saying that CAA will not be implemented but citizenship is a subject of the Union List. It has become a law through a constitutional process and passed by the Parliament,” Chouhan said.
“They (CMs) are holding constitutional posts. How can they deny its execution. The Act has to be executed. If they do not implement it, then there are other ways too for getting this done,” he added.
Accusing the Congress of spreading confusion over the Act, the former Madhya Pradesh chief minister said Congress president Sonia Gandhi should have spoken about the issue during the debate in Parliament before the passage of the bill, instead of putting out a televised video message.
“She should have spoken during the debate in Parliament,” he said.
Chouhan also questioned whether the Congress president and Rahul Gandhi had ever heard of the plight of migrants who live in India.
The BJP leader said CAA was a law for "giving", and not for "snatching" citizenship.
Blaming the Congress for playing vote bank politics, Chouhan said the BJP has decided to take out a campaign to reach out to the masses and clear the confusion.
When asked about the impact of CAA on Jharkhand Assembly elections, he said that state elections are fought on different issues and rejected that the Jharkhand elections was a litmus test for the Act.