The Delhi Assembly on Friday passed a resolution against the National Population Register (NPR) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) at a special session here.
By conducting the NPR exercise across the nation, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal alleged during his address, the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Central government was attempting to “divert” the attention of people from “the real issues” being faced by the country such as unemployment and economic crises.
‘No birth certificate’
Mr. Kejriwal’s statement came in the wake of Cabinet Minister Gopal Rai moving a resolution against the NPR in the State Assembly.
Mr. Rai further said that if the Centre insists, the NPR process should be carried out in accordance with the 2010 format.
During the debate on the resolution, Mr. Kejriwal asked for a show of hands to ascertain how many legislators present in the House had birth certificates issued by government agencies; out of the 70-member Assembly, 61 did not have one.
“Me, my wife, and my parents, we do not possess the birth certificate issued by the municipality... will the Central government send the four family members, including the Delhi Chief Minister, to a detention centre? None of the Delhi Cabinet Ministers have the birth certificate, will the whole Cabinet be sent to detention centres?” said Mr. Kejriwal.
“I want to know how many of the [Union] Cabinet Ministers and MPs have the birth certificate. Most of the CMs do not have it,” he said further.
‘The real issues’
“The real issues right now should be unemployment and economy... the Centre might bring forth the claim that all these three things are different, but the Union Home Minister has linked them himself by telling the people to understand the chronology,” he said. “The Home Minister said that first is CAA, then NPR, and then NRC.”
In this process, Mr. Kejriwal alleged, Indian Hindus had the most to lose: if one was a Muslim and did not have papers, an individual would “directly land into the detention centre”; if one was a Hindu from Pakistan then the government would “make your papers”; but if one was a Hindu from India and did not have papers, the individual concerned would still “be sent to the detention camps”.
As many as 11 Indian States, he said, had passed a resolution against the NRC and the NPR and many of these such as Bihar and Tamil Nadu were ruled by parties that are in alliance with the BJP.
“I will request the Central government to not bring the NPR and the NRC because it will be of no good to our country,” the Chief Minister said.
The eight-member Opposition sought to condemn what it alleged was a “deliberate attempt” to spread “doubts and misgivings” about a “well-intentioned move” of the Central government.