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NPR in new format can create confusion, says Nitish Kumar

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. File

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. File   | Photo Credit: Ranjeet Kumar

JD(U) leader reiterates that Bihar won’t implement NRC, adds CAA to be debated in SC

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday said that the National Population Register (NPR) in its new format would create confusion in the country and suggested that the Centre should therefore continue to retain the old format, which has been in use since 2011.

 

“The NPR has been there since 2011, it’s not a new thing… but, in the new format with more questions it can create confusion in the country,” Mr. Kumar told journalists, while addressing them after a day-long meeting of the JD(U) party at his official residence on Anne Marg. “Nobody knows their parents’ birth date… we believe that the Central government should continue with the old format of NPR,” the JD(U) leader, who is a key ally of the ruling NDA, added.

Asked about the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and the proposed nationwide National Register of Citizens (NRC) he said, “We’ve already said NRC will not be implemented in the State and as far as CAA is concerned the matter is now in Supreme Court and will be debated there… if someone has an issue, they can put it there”. Last month, Mr. Kumar had voiced his opposition to the proposed NRC, while calling for an open discussion on the CAA. The JD(U) was one of the parties that had voted to enable the law’s passage in both the Houses of Parliament.

‘Prashant can leave’

The JD(U) leader also remarked that it was up to the party’s national vice-president Prashant Kishor to decide if he wished to stay in the party or leave it. “It’s okay if he stays, it’s okay, if he goes,” Mr. Kumar remarked.

 

Observing that Mr. Kishor worked as a strategist for various parties, he said, “I want to make one thing clear, if he wants to remain in the party he will have to adhere to the basic structure of the party.” Rhetorically asking reporters if they knew how the political strategist had ended up joining the party, he said, “BJP president Amit Shah had told me to induct him in the party... he must have had something on his mind”. In 2018, Mr. Kumar had named Mr. Kishor to the post of national vice-president while terming him the “future” of politics.

Reacting to Mr. Kumar’s comments via Twitter, Mr. Kishor joined issue on the circumstances of his joining the party. “@NitishKumar what a fall for you to lie about how and why you made me join JDU!! Poor attempt on your part to try and make my colour same as yours! And if you are telling the truth who would believe that you still have courage not to listen to someone recommended by @AmitShah?,” he tweeted.

Earlier, responding to questions about the criticism levelled both by Mr. Kishor and the party’s national general secretary and spokesperson Pawan Varma at the party leadership, Mr. Kumar said “someone wrote a letter, I replied to it. Someone is tweeting, let him tweet. Anyone can stay as long as they want, leave whenever they want. Ours is a different kind of party”.

Last week, Mr. Varma had put Mr. Kumar in an uncomfortable situation by writing a letter seeking “ideological clarity” on the party’s ties with the BJP, beyond Bihar. Mr. Kumar had in turn said Mr. Varma was free to go and join any other party he liked, adding that “he has my wishes”.

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Printable version | Feb 18, 2020 11:51:46 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/npr-in-new-format-likely-to-create-confusion-says-nitish-kumar/article30678463.ece

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