Senior Congress leader and former Finance Minister P Chidambaram has said that the Modi government has changed gears and is now only talking about the NPR after the “fiasco” in Assam over the citizenship list. He asserted that the National Population Register is nothing but “NRC in disguise”,
The former Union home minister said states are justified to oppose the implementation of the NPR and the CAA as the Constitutional validity lies with the Supreme Court.
“Our purpose is to fight the sinister purpose of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Population Register (NPR) and mobilise public opinion against them. Our stated position is that we will not agree to NPR being rolled out from April 2020,” he said.
He said all political parties fighting against the NPR, the CAA and the proposed nationwide NRC must come together.
“We are fighting against NRC (National Register of Citizens) and CAA. Sometimes together, sometimes differently. The important thing is that we are fighting,” he said.
On the opposition-ruled states participating in the 17 January meeting on the NPR, Chidambaram said participation does not mean acquiescence or acceptance. “It is about knowing what the other side thinks about it.”
Hinting at the Trinamool Congress, Chidambaram exuded confidence that opposition parties which did not participate in the meeting called by Congress president Sonia Gandhi on the issue will come along in the future.
“It is possible that in Bengal and many other states there are some domestic factors at play. But one should not miss the larger picture which is the fight to save the Constitution. All those fighting for values must eventually come together on a single platform. I am confident they will,” he said.
Chidambaram said he went to the Park Circus Maidan in the city where Muslim women are on a sit-in for the past 12 days against the CAA.