Congress seeks to corner Modi government over NPR, claims MHA report calls it 'first step to NRC'
Congress senior spokesperson Ajay Maken also said that Home Minister Amit Shah's statement that there is no link between the NPR and the NRC is a 'bigger lie' than what the PM Modi had said earlier.
NEW DELHI: The Congress on Tuesday alleged that the government was trying to link the National Population Register with the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and termed it draconian and against the secular credentials of the Constitution.
Home Minister Amit Shah's statement that there is no link between the NPR and the NRC is a "bigger lie" than what the prime minister had said at the Ramlila ground on Sunday, Congress senior spokesperson Ajay Maken said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on Sunday said that there was no talk of NRC being implemented in the country, a stand that goes in total variance with the home minister's claim that the NRC will be implemented.
Maken said the Home Ministry, in its annual report, has stated that the NPR is the first step to NRC and alleged that the government is linking the two.
Claiming that the then minister of state for Home had made a similar statement in 2014, the opposition party said that the government is now caught in a trap of its own.
Maken said during the 2021 Census, if the NPR is conducted in this way then it will be objectionable.
"He is lying because of the anger of the people," he said on Home Minister Amit Shah's statement on NRC.
The Congress said that for the first time, because of the amended Citizenship Act, there is a deep resentment among a large number of people in the country as the biggest sufferers after the implementation of the NRC would be the poor and the marginalised.
"They will be at the crossroads of losing citizenship," he said.
Admitting that the Congress started the NPR, Maken said, "We started it, but we never linked it to the NRC. Who is linking the NPR to the NRC?" "NPR alone is fine, but when you link it with NRC, it becomes draconian.
Then it becomes something which is a violation of human rights and of the secular credentials of the Constitution," he said.
The Congress leader also showed the annual report of the Home Ministry, in which it stated that the National Population Register is the first step towards the National Register of Citizens.
"This means that they have already announced the policy of the government.
The latest annual report of the BJP government clearly says that the NPR is the first step towards the creation of the NRC," he said.
"Once again the BJP government is caught in a trap of their own making. 2018-19 Annual Report of the Union Home Ministry clearly states NPR is the first step to NRC. Also in 2014, former MoS Home Ministry Kiren Rijiju replied to a question in Rajya Sabha stating the same. Who's lying now," the Congress asked on its Twitter handle.
Maken alleged that in the last five years, the BJP government has been saying so again and again.
"Who are they fooling now," he asked.
Earlier, they said they will bring NRC.
Now they have done it in the garb of NPR, the Congress leader alleged, adding that as soon as you link the NPR to the NRC, "this is something to be objected to. Because Congress never took the step to link NPR with NRC."
All through, the government has been saying that the NPR is the first step towards the NRC, Maken said.
"Why didn't the home minister earlier refute this when it was brought out in the policy document of the government, the annual report of the Home Ministry," he asked.