The ruling TRS in Telangana, which voted against the amendment to citizenship law in Parliament, on Friday said the party government would take a decision on the NRC and NPR after due deliberations in the state cabinet.
"We are extremely clear on the stand on the issue of Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). There is no big confusion in it. Whatever we have said on the floor of the House, we stand by that. There is no change in that," TRS working president K T Rama Rao told reporters here.
"With respect to National Register of Citizens, that is a decision of the government.... CAA, NPR (National Population Register), NRC, you are linking them and using them interchangeably as you wish, all these acronyms. What we are saying is, these are important issues that need to be discussed in the government," he said. He said these were not decisions that can be announced by an individual or a party.
"We have to sit together as a government, there is a cabinet, there is a chief minister, there are several constituents that need to be sounded off, issues that needed to be addressed.... Rama Rao, son of Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, recalled that party MPs had already made it clear in Parliament during the debate on Citizenship Amendment Bill that TRS was opposed to the exclusion of Muslims. Same day, we had also said, remove that word and include Muslims, we will vote in favour of the bill, he said adding when the government made it clear it would not concede their demand, the TRS members voted against the bill. So, I dont think there is anything new to be said now," he said.
"TRS had taken decisions on bills in parliament after due deliberations within the party, keeping in mind the interests of India and Telangana, and had also supported the NDA government on issues like Article 370," he said.
TRS parliamentary party chairman K Keshav Rao, also present at the media interaction, said that the details of NPR were not yet available and there were some doubts over the centre's announcement on it.
TRS would oppose it if the doubts turned out to be true or else go with the NPR, he said. "NPR had come in 2010, 2003, updated in 2015 when details come, we will give correct answer after reading the details. Otherwise, as it is, on the face of it, we are opposed to it if the doubts are true," Keshav Rao said.
The Central government on Tuesday approved nearly Rs 12,700 crore for carrying out the Census 2021 and the NPR and made it clear that NPR has no relation with the NRC which is facing stiff opposition.
On reports that TRS could invite like-minded parties for an all-party meet on the issue, Keshav Rao said it will be intimated if a decision was taken. AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi along with representatives of United Muslim Action Committee had met the Chief Minister on December 25 and requested him to stay the work on updation of NPR in Telangana on the lines of Kerala.
Emerging from the meeting, Owaisi had said he was hoping for a positive response from KCR. Owaisi, who had maintained that NPR was the first step towards implementation of NRC, claimed the Chief Minister was sympathetic towards their demand and told them that there was a necessity for all like-minded parties to come together on the issue. Rama Rao, also the state Municipal Administration Minister, and Keshav Rao were speaking after a meeting of TRS' state committee in which preparations for the coming municipal polls were discussed.
Rama Rao expressed confidence that the TRS would put up an impressive performance yet again as in the rural local body polls and Huzurnagar Assembly bypoll earlier this year.