Slamming the Congress, RJD and other opposition parties for "deliberately" creating a controversy over NPR, Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi on Sunday wondered why was the data collection exercise not opposed by RJD chief Lalu Prasad, when it was initiated during the Congress-led UPA rule.
The deputy chief minister was speaking at a function organised by Rashtrawadi Kushwaha Parishad to commemorate the first death anniversary of BJP MLC Suraj Nandan Kushwaha here.
"The process of preparing NPR began in 2010 during UPA regime... Now, it (NPR) has to be updated before the 2021 census.
"The Congress, RJD and other opposition parties are deliberately trying to create controversy over NPR when all state governments have issued a gazette notification," Modi, who is also the state Finance minister, said.
Asserting that the NPR should not be linked with the National Register of Citizens (NRC), the BJP leader asked with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah making it clear that the NPR has nothing to do with NRC, why are Congress leaders, Prasad and leaders of other opposition parties trying to mislead a particular community?
How can preparing NPR be wrong during NDA regime when the same exercise was considered to be correct during UPA rule? he asked.
Coming down heavily on the oppposition for protesting against Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), Modi questioned, "Why are they are opposing the CAA when it will not have any impact on the citizenship of any person irrespective of his religious background?"
The RJD national president on Saturday had made a fresh pitch for a caste-based census, demanding that the NPR forms, which have "numerous columns", incorporate "one more" pertaining to the respondents' castes.
Prasad also launched a veiled attack on the BJP, which is in power at the Centre, though not naming the party, asking whether OBCs and EBCs were "not Hindus" that there has been a reluctance to compile fresh data of their population.