Nitish Kumar drops Bihar from NRC list

21 December, 2019 12:00 AM printer

Patna: Just a day after he told minorities in Bihar that they had nothing to worry, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Friday signalled that he didn’t want the Centre to roll out the National Register of Citizens, or NRC, in Bihar, reports Hindustan Times. 

“Why will it be implemented in Bihar,” Nitish Kumar shot back with a counter-question when reporters asked him for his stand on the Centre’s plan to roll out a nationwide citizens’ list. 

Nitish Kumar is the first chief minister of a NDA-ruled state to shut its doors on the citizens’ register that would be crucial to the Bharatiya Janata Party-led national coalition delivering on its promise to expel infiltrators. Home Minister Amit Shah had earlier this month set a 2024 deadline for his government to throw out all infiltrators, a term usually used by the BJP to refer to Muslim undocumented migrants from Bangladesh.

His party, Janata Dal United, had voted in favour of the controversial changes in the Citizenship Act that allows the government to give citizenship to minorities from three Muslim countries Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan. In the past, Home Minister Amit Shah has described this amendment as the first step, or a precursor to the National Register of Citizens.

Of the parties that backed the amendment to the citizenship law, Nitish Kumar is the second.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, whose party Biju Janata Dal had supported the citizenship law change in parliament, has also spoken out against the citizens’ register. But his party isn’t part of the NDA and takes a stand on legislations on a case-to-case basis.