Tamil Nadu

CAA, NRC: AIADMK attempts to allay fears of Opposition parties

Revenue Minister R.B. Udhayakumar emphatically said that the NRC has not come in

Revenue Minister R.B. Udhayakumar emphatically said that the NRC has not come in   | Photo Credit: A.Muralitharan

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Revenue Minister R.B. Udhayakumar said the party would be the first to raise its voice and defend the interests of minorities

Maintaining that it has been protecting the interests of minorities in Tamil Nadu for 30 years, the AIADMK government in the Assembly on Wednesday said that no work towards the National Register of Citizens (NRC) has been taken up in the State.

The debate on the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the NRC came up in the Assembly yet again on Tuesday, after Congress Legislative Party leader K.R. Ramasamy raised the issue in the House.

Responding to apprehensions raised by the Congress member, Revenue Minister R.B. Udhayakumar emphatically said that the NRC has not come in. “The NRC has not come in,” Mr. Udhayakumar repeated thrice, attempting to allay the apprehensions raised by the Opposition party member.

“Even if it [the NRC] comes and if the minorities are affected, the AIADMK would be the first to raise its voice to defend the interests of minorities,” Mr. Udhayakumar said. Soon Law Minister C.Ve. Shanmugam joined the debate to quote from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statements that the topic of the NRC has neither come up nor has been discussed in the meeting of the Union Cabinet as yet.

“When the Prime Minister has made it clear about the NRC, how can the government answer hypothetical questions raised by the Opposition parties?” Mr. Shanmugam asked.

To Mr. Ramasamy’s statement in the House that there were reports about some detention camps in Maharashtra and Karnataka and what would happen if citizenship of lakhs of people were taken away, Mr. Udhayakumar asked whether any such camp has come up in Tamil Nadu.

“You are talking about camps in other States. You should ask those governments about those camps. Is there any camp that has come up in Tamil Nadu? Has anyone from Tamil Nadu lost citizenship?” Mr. Udhayakumar asked.

When the Revenue Minister attempted to avoid further debate in the House over the topic by saying cases regarding the CAA was pending before the courts, DMK Deputy Floor Leader Duraimurugan sought to clarify only contents of a case in the court could not be debated not the case by itself.

Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami came to the defence of Mr. Udhayakumar to say Mr. Duraimurugan had given the same reason several times in the House during the erstwhile DMK regime.

Deputy Speaker Pollachi V. Jayaraman, who was in the Chair during the debate, said on multiple occasions that the CAA has been discussed for three days already and other subjects could be taken up for debate.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 11:19:19 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/caa-nrc-aiadmk-attempts-to-allay-fears-of-opposition-parties/article30513800.ece

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