New Citizenship Act Causes Rift In NDA, JD(U) Disagrees With BJP On NRC
Bharatiya Janata Party’s allay in National Democratic Alliance, Janta Dal (United) Which backed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill or CAB, in Parliament last week, has officially decided to say no to nationwide National Register of Citizens.
The new Citizenship Act grants Indian citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Christians, and Parsis of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Besides the JD(U), the CAB was supported by SAD, AIADMK, BJD, TDP, and YSR-Congress.
JD(U) national spokesperson KC Tyagi confirmed that the party had “officially” decided to “say no to NRC.”
However, senior JD(U) leader K C Tyagi told The Sunday Express, “The entire party is solidly behind party chief Nitish Kumar for saying no to NRC. We had earlier said as much, but our support to CAB would have created confusion.” Tyagi said the party’s official stand of saying no to NRC had crystallised after the CM’s meeting with Prashant Kishor.
After a two-hour meeting with the Bihar chief minister, Prashant Kishor JD(U) vice president, who has been critical of both the NRC and CAB, said, “Nitish Kumar is with the party’s (JD-U’s) earlier stand of saying no to NRC. NRC with CAB is dangerous. If there is no NRC, CAB per se is okay. The CM said CAB is a Bill to give citizenship, but if it is linked with NRC, it becomes discriminatory.”
Kishor said his personal stand on CAB will not change. He had tweeted against the CAB after it was passed in both the houses.
We are told that #CAB is bill to grant citizenship and not to take it from anyone. But the truth is together with #NRC, it could turn into a lethal combo in the hands of Government to systematically discriminate and even prosecute people based on religion.#NotGivingUp
— Prashant Kishor (@PrashantKishor) December 12, 2019
Supporting the CAB in both Houses, the JD(U) had reiterated BJP’s stand saying the Bill was not discriminatory because it was not going to hurt Indian Muslims. Rajiv Ranjan Singh spoke in Lok Sabha and RCP Singh in Rajya Sabha. However, none of them have spoken against the matter.
CAB is facing obvious pushback from many states and their chief ministers – Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the “anti-Constitutional law will have no place” in Kerala, and Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh said his government “will not allow the Bill to be implemented in Punjab”. Protests erupting countrywide against CAB and most of them turning violent because of police lathi charge and assault. It has sent shockwaves around the country and created uncertainty; where not only parties but also citizens are taking part in countrywide protests against the bill.