RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav on Tuesday challenged Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to “order suspension” of the ongoing work on National Population Register (NPR), casting doubts on the latters proclaimed opposition to country-wide implementation of the National Register of Citizens (NRC). Yadav, who has formerly served as Kumars deputy and currently is the leader of the opposition in the state Assembly, demanded that the Chief Minister “walk the talk” by ordering suspension of NPR until the “unconstitutional law”, Citizenship Amendment Act, was repealed.
“Assuming turncoat, rudderless, fickle Nitish Kumar has an ounce of intent not to implement NRC in Bihar, he must order suspension of NPR (National Population Register) with immediate effect until this unconstitutional law CAA is repealed! Walk the talk, Mr CM!,” Yadav tweeted.
Notably, states like West Bengal and Kerala ruled by Mamata Banerjees Trinamool Congress and the CPI (M) respectively have put on hold NPR work, much to the chagrin of Narendra Modi government at the Centre. Kumar has been under attack from the opposition ever since his party voted in favour of the Citizenship Amendment Bill in the Parliament, less than a year after having opposed it when the legislation was first tabled in Lok Sabha.
The controversial legislation, which has triggered countrywide protests, is seen as a precursor to the proposed countrywide implementation of NRC, which Union minister Amit Shah had reiterated during the debate on CAB in Lok Sabha. However, Modi and Shah as also other members of the Union cabinet have since attempted damage control by seeking to debunk speculations about NRC being implemented across the country.
Nevertheless, fears of a substantial diminution in Kumars popularity among the states Muslims have arisen on account of his party voting in favour of CAB and the constant refrain of his ally the BJP that the Seemanchal region of Bihar which has the largest concentration of the minority community was full of illegal immigrants, who need to be flushed out. The Chief Minister, who had been opposed to NRC since it was first rolled out in Assam, reiterated his stand recently when he said “what for? Not at all” in response to queries from journalists about the possibility of its possible implementa0tion in the state.
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Source: Financial Express