Modi right on NRC: Amit Shah

Home Minister Amit Shah. (PTI Photo)

 After Prime Minister Narendra Modi contradicted his ministerial and party colleagues on National Register of Citizens (NRC), Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday said there is "no need for debate" as there was no discussion on a nationwide exercise in either Parliament or the Union Cabinet.

Shah's remarks came as Modi claimed on Sunday that there was no discussion about nationwide NRC since 2014 after the BJP assumed office. Modi's remarks were panned by the Opposition, saying he contradicted Shah who repeated, including in Parliament, that there will be nationwide NRC, which will be repeated in Assam.

"There is no need to debate this (pan-India NRC) as there is no discussion on it right now. The Prime Minister was right. There was no discussion on NRC yet, either in the Cabinet or Parliament. It is in the BJP manifesto. Whenever it happens, it will not happen clandestinely," Shah told ANI in an interview.

Shah said the National Population Register (NPR) and NRC are different and cannot be linked, even as the Opposition pointed to government reports and Parliament answers to say that NPR is the first step to NRC. "NPR and NRC are different... NPR data could not be used for NRC... BJP did not start the NPR. It was UPA which started it," he said.

The Home Minister said it is possible that some names are missed in the NPR but still their citizenship will not be revoked because this is not the process of NRC. "I want to make it clear that nobody will lose citizenship because of NPR," he said.

On Kerala and West Bengal governments stopping the NPR process, he said he appeals to both Chief Ministers that they should not take such a step. "I request them to review their decisions. Don't keep the poor out of development schemes just for your politics," he said. 

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