‘More disastrous than...’: Rahul Gandhi sharpens attack on BJP over NRC, NPR
The Congress party has stepped up its opposition to the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and the proposed pan-India exercise to register the country’s citizens on the lines of Assam.Updated: Dec 28, 2019, 12:36 IST
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said on Saturday the National Population Register (NPR) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) will have twice the impact the Centre’s demonetisation step in November 2016 had on the country.
The former Congress president said while speaking to reporters that the basic idea of these exercises is to ask all poor people whether they are Indian or not.
“This will be more disastrous for people than demonetisation. This will have twice the impact of demonetisation,” he said.
He made the comments on the sidelines of the flag-hoisting ceremony at the Congress headquarters in New Delhi on the 135th foundation day of the party.
“His (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) 15 friends will not have to show any document and the money generated will go into the pockets of those 15 people,” he said, referring to his allegation that the government was working for the benefit of “15 crony capitalists”.
The Congress party has stepped up its opposition to the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and the proposed pan-India exercise to register the country’s citizens on the lines of Assam.
According to the amended citizenship act, non-Muslim refugees who came to India till December 31, 2014, to escape religious persecution in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan will be given Indian citizenship.
Since both houses of Parliament approved amendments to the citizenship law earlier this month, protests - sometimes violent - have taken place across the country during which many protesters have died, especially in Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka.
Fears that an NRC will follow in the wake of CAA, which will require Indians to prove their citizenship, thereby disenfranchising many has been the key reason for the protests.
Of Assam’s 33 million residents, who were asked to prove their citizenship, names of about 1.9 million were excluded. These names will now be referred to Foreigners’ Tribunals.
The Congress’s opposition to the NRC exercise had prompted the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to claim that the grand old party was soft on illegal, mainly Bangladeshi, immigrants.
The BJP also promised a legislative route for those whose names had wrongfully been excluded from the list, in the form of an altered Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB).