BJP’s NPR dangerous, different from one in 2010: Chidambaram

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Former Home Minister P Chidambaram claims the National Population Register approved by the Modi government is different “in terms of the text as well as the context” of data collection done in 2010.

Chidambaram’s Congress party has accused the government of trying to link the NPR with the National Register of Citizens (NRC) — a controversial citizenship verification drive meant to identify illegal immigrants, so far implemented only in Assam.

The government has been facing countrywide protests by people who fear the amended Citizenship Act will shield non-Muslim illegal immigrants identified by a pan-India NRC — the government now says there have been no talks on such a policy — and make a large number of Muslims stateless.

P Chidambaram claimed the government had a “sinister” agenda.”If the BJP’s motives are bonafide,” Chidambaram said, “let the government unconditionally state that they support the NPR form and design of 2010 and have no intention of linking it to the controversial NRC.””If the BJP’s motives are bonafide,” Chidambaram said, “let the government unconditionally state that they support the NPR form and design of 2010 and have no intention of linking it to the controversial NRC.”

Former Home Minister P Chidambaram claims the National Population Register approved by the Modi government is different “in terms of the text as well as the context” of data collection done in 2010.Chidambaram’s Congress party has accused the government of trying to link the NPR with the National Register of Citizens (NRC) — a controversial citizenship verification drive meant to identify illegal immigrants, so far implemented only in Assam.

The government has been facing countrywide protests by people who fear the amended Citizenship Act will shield non-Muslim illegal immigrants identified by a pan-India NRC — the government now says there have been no talks on such a policy — and make a large number of Muslims stateless.P Chidambaram claimed the government had a “sinister” agenda.

“If the BJP’s motives are bonafide,” Chidambaram said, “let the government unconditionally state that they support the NPR form and design of 2010 and have no intention of linking it to the controversial NRC.”

Chidambaram’s tweets were a response to an old video of him that the BJP posted to attack his party.Amit Malviya, the BJP’s IT cell head, said it showed P Chidambaram “gloating” during the launch of the 2010 NPR.Chidambaram hit back, saying he was “happy” the BJP had put the video up.

“Please listen to the video. We were enumerating the ‘usual residents’ of the country. The emphasis is on residency not citizenship,” he said.”Every usual resident was to be enumerated irrespective of his or her religion or place of birth…The NPR aided the preparation of the Census of 2011. There was no mention of NRC,” he added.

 

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TheDispatch Staff