Odisha becomes the latest state to join the league that is opposing the NRC. Several opposition parties including a few from the NDA are protesting against the pan-India NRC as proposed by the Modi government.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday said that his party voted in favour of the Citizenship Bill in the Parliament but it will not support the National Register of Citizens. His remark comes in the midst of violent protests across the country over CAA.
Patnaik said that the BJD backed CAA because it deals with the foreigners, but the party will not allow NRC in the state. “Citizenship Amendment Act has nothing to do with Indian citizens, it only deals with foreigners. The Biju Janata Dal supported it in both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha and made it clear that we don’t support the NRC. I appeal to the citizens to let peace prevail and not to indulge in violence,” the Chief Minister said.
The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) led by Naveen Patnaik voted in favour of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha last week. The support of BJD, which is not a constituent of the NDA, helped the ruling BJP to sail through the Rajya Sabha smoothly. The BJD has 12 MPs in the Lok Sabha and seven in the Rajya Sabha.
Odisha becomes the latest state to join the league that is opposing the NRC. Several opposition parties including a few from the BJP-led NDA are protesting against the pan-India NRC as proposed by the Modi government. Home Minister Amit Shah in the Rajya Sabha last month said that NRC exercise will be carried out in the entire country.
Violent protests erupted last week in Assam, NE states and West Bengal after the bill was cleared by the Parliament and President gave his assent to become a law. The amended law promises to grant Indian citizenship to non-Muslims coming to India from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh due to religious persecution there.
Similar protests were even reported in Delhi and cities of Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. Odisha, in contrast, remained relatively peaceful.