'NRC to be brought parties, state govt's consultations'

'NRC to be brought parties, state govt's consultations'

As a number of political parties, including NDA ally LJP, recalibrated their position on Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) after a continued nationwide protest against it, the BJP government has gone into damage control mode.

They have opened themselves up to suggestions even on CAA while stating that NRC at a national level will not be brought without wide-ranging consultations.

“Where is NRC?  There is no draft. There is no provision... so when NRC draft is not there, when there is no provision with so-called negative implications e negative implications, then there is no purpose discussing it,” party general secretary Muralidhar Rao told DH.

Rao was responding concerns were relayed to him, that the Muslim community will lose their citizenship on not having the right documents after NRC is implemented, while others will be safeguarded through CAA.

The BJP general secretary also sought to assure that NRC will not be brought without proper consultations with all stakeholders.

“When NRC comes, NRC will not come without proper consultation of different stakeholders including political parties..." Rao said. 

The BJP’s leaders nuanced position on NRC came on a day when several NDA allies voiced their concern over the act.

LJP Chief Chirag Paswan, whose father Ram Vilas Paswan is a Union Minister in the government, said that his party will take care of concerns of Muslims, SC community and the deprived and “will not support any bill,” which is not in the interest of common people.

Another NDA ally from Bihar—JDU led by Nitish Kumar, which favoured the bill in Parliament, on Friday announced that it will not support a national level NRC. "What NRC. NRC will not be allowed to be implemented in Bihar under any circumstance,” Kumar said.

Even time-tested allies of the NDA, like the Shiromani Akali Dal, while backing the Citizenship Bill in the Lok Sabha, demanded the inclusion of Islamic sects like the Ahmadiyyas, whose members face persecution in Pakistan.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, whose party BJD had also supported the Citizenship Bill in Parliament, also made it clear two days back that his party does not support the NRC. Earlier NDA’s oldest ally turned foe Shiv Sena supported the Bill in Lok Sabha but backed out from doing so in Rajya Sabha.

Meanwhile, a top government official speaking separately has maintained that the government is open to accept suggestions, if any, from people who are staging protests against the CAA. Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Thursday also expressed the government’s readiness to talk to protestors and students.

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