No proposal of nationwide NRC right now: RS Prasad

Patna: There is no proposal of implementation of nationwide National Register of Citizens (NRC) right now, said Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Sunday.

Addressing a public gathering during an event, Prasad said, “Section 14A of India’s Citizenship Act says that there would be a National Register of Citizens. And the citizens will be provided with an identity card. It was implemented from December 3, 2004. Manmohan Singh government enforced this law. When you do it then it is right and if we do it then wrong. There is no proposal of NRC right now (nationwide).”

He continued, “For NRC according to Rule 4 of law, a date will be given first then there will be a list. The objection will be taken and there would be hearings. And everyone has the right to appeal. Nobody is talking about what Prime Minister Narendra Modi said.”

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His remarks came after Opposition alleged that the National Population Register (NPR) is the first step towards pan-India NRC. However, Union Minister Amit Shah had denied any link between the two exercises. On December 22, Prime Minister Modi had said that the NRC is not discussed within the government.

Attacking the Opposition over criticising the Modi government, he said, “In a debate held on the census in Lok Sabha on 7 May 2010, the then Home Minister Chidambaram sahab said they were preparing National Population Register (NPR) and NRC would be created from it. Mulayam Singh Yadav, Lalu Yadav, and Sharad Yadav were part of the debate, nobody opposed it.”

The minister reiterated said that the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, does not apply to Indian citizens.

“We respect the opposition and peaceful protests. But action will be taken against those who talk about dividing the country,” he added.

NRC seeks to identify illegal immigrants in the country. It was rolled out in Assam on the directions of the Supreme Court where 19 lakh people were excluded in the final list.

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