JD(U), BJP face-off likely over NRC

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s outfit JD (U) is vehemently opposed to the BJP’s plan and has already voiced its concern over the efficacy of such exercise.

The two ruling coalition partners in Bihar — the Janata Dal (United) and the Bharatiya Janata Party — are heading for an imminent showdown on the issue of NRC (National Register for Citizens).

The fresh round of face-off comes close on the heels of Union Home Minister and BJP president Amit Shah reiterating that the NRC would be implemented across the country.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s outfit JD(U) is vehemently opposed to the BJP’s plan and has already voiced its concern over the efficacy of such exercise. However, when Shah on Wednesday reiterated in the Rajya Sabha that the NRC will be conducted across India, the JD(U) national vice-president and Nitish’s key aide Prashant Kishor was the first to raise the red flag.

Without naming the home minister, Kishor slammed Shah for not consulting non-BJP ruled states before making such statements in Parliament. “15 plus states with more than 55% of India’s population have non-BJP chief ministers. Wonder how many of them are consulted and are on board for NRC in their respective states!!. (sic),” tweeted Kishor shortly after Shah made the NRC statement in the Rajya Sabha.

The JD(U) and the BJP have been at loggerheads on the issue of NRC ever since the BJP in August made a demand that the NRC should be conducted in Bihar's Muslim-dominated areas, which share borders with Bengal.

Why Nitish is against NRC

The JD(U), which won Lok Sabha seats — Purnia and Katihar — in the Muslim-dominated areas, is not willing to antagonise the minorities who now look at Nitish as their messiah in the absence of jailed Lalu Prasad.

“Muslims are not afraid of NRC. But the point is why target Muslims through such absurd steps,” said JD(U) MLC Ghulam Rasool Baliyavi.

In fact, Kishor was one of the first JD(U) leaders who came down heavily when the NRC list was published in Assam a few months ago. “A botched up NRC leaves lakhs of people as foreigners in their own country...” Kishor had tweeted.

JD(U) national general secretary K C Tyagi is also on record to say that the NRC was implemented in Assam since the apex court asked it to do so. “However, our stand is clear that there is no need for NRC in Bihar or any other state,” said Tyagi.

Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee has already vociferously opposed NRC in Bengal.

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