PATNA: Expressing his disagreement, diplomat-turned-politician and national general secretary of JD (U) Pavan K Verma on Sunday urged Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar to categorically reject the Citizenship Act.
Verma, who shot off a letter to the chief minister stated that the country has come at a crucial crossroads. "The choice before the political leaders is stark: either to work to save the idea of India as a plural, composite, multi-religious nation in which there is respect for all faiths, and social harmony and prevailing peace, or to see it being divided by organised attempts at creating discord and acrimony amongst Indians on the basis of religion," said the former Rajya Sabha MP in his letter.
Verma on Sunday through his letter further reminded Bihar CM Nitish Kumar that he (Kumar) has always stood for a secular India, where there is peace, respect and goodwill among all communities.
Pavan K Varma,JD(U) in a letter to Bihar CM Nitish Kumar: CAA-NRC combine is a direct attempt to divide Hindus and Muslims, and create social instability. I request you to take a stand against CAA-NPR-NRC scheme and reject its nefarious agenda to divide India. pic.twitter.com/1ufAX7N12D— ANI (@ANI) January 5, 2020
Taking a jibe at BJP leader and deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi, Verma has stated in the letter that unilateral announcement by Sushil Kumar Modi that the NPR will be carried out in Bihar between May 15 and May 28 in 2020 took him by utter surprise. "As you are aware, the government has categorically stated that the NPR is the first step to implementing the NRC. Since you have said that Bihar will not have the NRC, it follows that you must say no to the revised NPR as well," Verma has stated in the letter.
Citing some instances of violence including murder of a youth protesting against CAA in Patna's Phulwari Sharif, Verma requested Nitish Kumar to 'take a principled stand against the CAA-NPR-NRC and reject its nefarious agenda to divide India and create a great deal of unnecessary social turbulence'. He advised Kumar that a clear cut statement by him(Nitish Kumar) to this issue would be a major step towards preserving and strengthening the idea of India to which Nitish Kumar is committed.
"India is greater than individual position or power or electoral success or failure or such transient considerations."
On Saturday, before Verma wrote a letter, Bihar industry minister Shyam Rajak has also expressed his dismay over Sushil Kumar Modi's announcement of date for NPR in Bihar without government or JDU consent.
The letter assumes significance after deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi announced dates for implementation of NPR in Bihar on Saturday. "No state government can refuse to work on NPR updating because it is a statutory exercise. Denial of it by anyone would be a punishable offence inviting 3-year of imprisonment or financial penalty," Modi stated further adding that census directors were appointed in all states including Bihar to monitor works on NPR upgradation from May 15 to 28.
After JD-U vice President and poll strategist Prashant Kishor, it is Verma, who vented his displeasure over the Nitish Kumar's support to CAA after it was legislated in the parliament. Kishor had stated that the CAA-NRC combo is divisive and discriminatory and the revised NPR is the first step towards the NRC.