Arvind Kejriwal, Manoj Tiwari spar over NRC
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday said if the National Register of Citizens (NRC) is implemented in Delhi, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Delhi unit chief Manoj Tiwari will be the first person to leave the city.
Tiwari, who had been pitching for the implementation of NRC in Delhi since the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls, reacted to Kejriwal’s remarks, saying he endorses politics of “hatred” and his comment was an “insult” to millions of Purvanchalis – a term often used to identify migrants from eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar – who reside in Delhi. Tiwari, who represents North-East Delhi in the Lok Sabha, identified himself as a Purvanchali leader.
Last month, once again pitching for NRC in Delhi on the lines of Assam, Tiwari had said the situation in Delhi had become “dangerous” due to the presence of a large number of “illegal immigrants”, including Bangladeshis and Rohingyas, who have been found involved in “criminal activities”.
In Assam, the NRC -- an exercise to weed out undocumented immigrants -- was first conducted in 1951. An exercise to update the register was initiated in 2013 following a Supreme Court order over allegations of illegal immigration from Bangladesh. The cut-off date was set as the midnight of March 24, 1971.
“If NRC is implemented in Delhi, Manoj Tiwari will be the first to leave Delhi,” said Kejriwal, who is also the national convener of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), after a press briefing in the Delhi Secretariat on Wednesday.
In a separate press conference on Wednesday, AAP chief spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj asked Tiwari if he had a “proof of living in Delhi since 1971”. He said, “If he [Tiwari] himself does not have the proof he should not trouble people from Uttar Pradesh, Odisha and Bihar who have come to Delhi looking for employment opportunities.”
Tiwari countered, “Does Kejriwal, who is an IRS (Indian Revenue Service) officer, not know what NRC is? This statement exposes Kejriwal’s real face… Arvind Kejriwal’s political life is based on hatred and disintegration.. It shows that he wants to evict the Purvanchali migrants from Delhi… This is insult to the Purvanchalis living in Delhi since decades and also insult to the people who have come from other states and contributing in the development of Delhi. He must apologise immediately.”