Amid the ongoing protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai told the Lok Sabha on February 4th, 2020 that no decision has been taken to carry out the National Register of Citizens (NRC) initiative across the country.
Replying to the questions of whether the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government has any plans to introduce the NRC all over the country, Rai said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha that “till now, the government has not taken any decision to prepare NRC at the national level”.
The Home Ministry has also said “question does not arise” on the questions of the modalities of a nationwide NRC and how it would put additional burden on the citizens.
On February 3rd, 2020, as the Parliament opened for the Budget Session, most of the opposition parties gave notices in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha to adjourn all business and discuss the CAA, National Population Register and NRC.
The women of Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh and students of Jamia Millia Islami University and others are protesting for over a month against CAA and the proposed nationwide NRC that demands that citizens of India prove their nationality.
Even though a nationwide NRC was mentioned in the BJP manifesto of 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while addressing a rally in Delhi last year, said that there had been no discussion or talks on implementing the NRC across the country since his government came to power in 2014.
Modi was contradicting his own Home Minister Amit Shah, who has spoken of the matter not just in various forums, but even in parliament. Shah on November 20th, 2019 informed the Upper House that the Supreme Court-monitored NRC will be updated afresh in Assam and will be a countrywide exercise.
In an election rally in Jharkhand, Shah even set a deadline for NRC- 2024. Interestingly, the verified Twitter handle of BJP deleted a tweet which quoted Shah as saying that “the would ensure implementation of the NRC in the entire country”.