‘Why NRC?’, asks Nitish Kumar

Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) had supported the CAB in both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.

December 20, 2019 05:47 pm | Updated 07:11 pm IST - PATNA

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Friday finally broke his silence on the National Register for Citizens (NRC), saying “ Kahe ka NRC?  [why NRC?]”.

On Thursday, while addressing a public meeting at Gandhi Maidan in Gaya in the course of his Jal Jivan Hariyali  yatra, he assured all protection to the minorities, saying at no cost their interests would be compromised as long as they were around.

In his recent meetings, Mr. Kumar has been reiterating that they (JD-U) will “respect all religions”.

Mr. Kumar’s Friday comment followed queries from journalists when he was coming out from a function of the Indian Road Congress in Patna. He then moved away.

Some JD(U) leaders like its national vice-president Prashant Kishor , Pawan Verma and party MLC Ghulam Rasool Balyavi had expressed their serious concern over and opposition to the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and the NRC. 

The JD(U) is in the ruling alliance of the BJP in Bihar and Mr. Kumar might be the first Chief Minister of a NDA (National Democratic Alliance) government in the States who has given a strong hint that the NRC will not be implemented in his State.

The JD(U) had supported the CAB in both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.

Recently, after an hour-long meeting with Mr. Kumar, Mr. Kishor said the former would explain his position on these issues after the Jan Jivan Hariyali  journey over climate change.

Mr. Kumar’s yatra will end on January 19.

Congress takes a dig at Nitish 

The Congress took a swipe on Mr. Kumar for his comment on the NRC. “Nitish Kumar has been diabolical in his approach and wants to ride on two boats at the same time…how can he oppose NRC and support CAA”, asked State Congress leader and party spokesperson Rajesh Kumar Rathor.

Former Chief Minister and president of the Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) leader Jitan Ram Manjhi tweeted, “Nitish Kumar who earlier had said I would prefer to die instead of shaking hands with BJP again, is now saying he will not allow implementation NRC in Bihar at any cost…for how many times you’ll take turnaround, sir?, you made the law and now says we’ll oppose it”. 

On Thursday, in protest against the CAA and the NRC, the Left parties observed a Bihar bandh.

The principal Opposition party, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), is scheduled to observe a State-wide bandh on Saturday.

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