All-India NRC after due process: Ravi Shankar Prasad
The government is committed to a National Register of Citizens (NRC), but will initiate the exercise only in accordance with the law and after following all legal obligations and consulting all stakeholders, including the states, minister of law and justice Ravi Shankar Prasad said in an interview on Saturday.
The proposed all-India NRC is aimed at identifying illegal immigrants living in India. Opposition parties have been critical of the proposal, which they have warned could subject the citizens of India to hardship .
On concerns expressed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s alliance partners over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, Prasad said his party will speak with “esteemed” leaders, including the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)’s Sukhbir Singh Badal, to allay their apprehensions, if any.
Prasad said the recent developments, or protests in several parts of the country against the CAA and NRC, will not undo the dividends the BJP earned when the triple talaq bill, which criminalises instant triple talaq and is considered to be in favour of Muslim woman, was passed by Parliament in July. “Our policy on inclusion is very clear and is not related to vote bank politics,” he said. Prasad also accused the Congress and its leaders of making irresponsible and false statements. It was the Congress who let the refugees in first, he said, citing past examples. “And now when we take a humanitarian stand, then there is a cause for concern,” he said, asserting the government will act against those who stage violent protests.
“It’s our constitutional duty to protect the citizens from arson and violence,” he said. CAA, he added, is constitutionally valid as he “respectfully disagreed” with former judges of the Supreme Court and high courts on the law being discriminatory and in violation of Article 14 that treats all citizens equally before the law.