Has the Congress surrounded itself by opposing NPR?

The debate about the Citizenship Amendment Act and NRC was still going on that the Central Government approved the updating of the National Population Register i.e. NPR.


After this, questions were being raised by the leaders of opposition parties that the government intends to bring NRC after NPR. Apart from Congress leaders, AIMIM leader and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi has also raised questions on this.

However, Union Home Minister Amit Shah recently said in an interview to ANI that there is no relation between NRC and NRP.

On the other hand, questions are also being raised by the Congress about the timing of approving NPR. In response, the BJP says that the Congress, which is currently making a ruckus about NPR, had prepared the National Population Register (NPR) itself.

Amit Malviya, national in-charge of IT in BJP, has tweeted a few and said that NPR was also brought during the Congress-led UPA government.

He has also tweeted a video of the then Home Minister P Chidambaram in which he is saying that for the first time in human history, the work of identifying 120 million people, counting them and then giving identity cards is being started.

Apart from this, Amit Malviya has tweeted another video in which Congress President Sonia Gandhi is signing a place. In this video, it has been claimed that Sonia Gandhi is getting herself registered for the census started in 2011.

But the Congress is questioning the BJP's intention to bring NPR. In this regard, Congress leader and former Union Minister Ajay Maken said, "We also did NPR in 2011 but never took it to NRC."

Ajay Maken was the Union Minister of State for Home Affairs and was the head of the 2011 census program at the time the NPR was implemented in the second term of the UPA government.

Now the Bharatiya Janata Party is aggressively raising the question on the Congress that the NPR which it is opposing, it itself was implemented while in power.

Now the debate started from CAA and NRC has got entangled on NPR and the leaders of the ruling BJP and opposition parties are embroiled in this issue.

In the meantime, the question arises whether the central government really brought NPR to divert attention from the CAA and NRC controversy. The question is also being discussed whether the Congress, which implemented the NPR in 2011 itself, has not come backfoot now, which may weaken its voice in opposition to the CAA and NRC?

On these questions, BBC correspondent Adarsh ​​Rathore spoke to senior journalists Pradeep Singh and Rashid Kidwai. Read what they believe


'It is difficult for Congress to retreat'


First of all, it is important to understand where did the NPR talk come from. Actually, after the Kargil War a committee was formed - Kargil Review Committee. In 2000, he recommended that a population register of citizens of the entire country should be created, it is important from the point of view of security.

The Atal Bihari Vajpayee government accepted this recommendation and accordingly the citizenship law was amended in 2003. It was decided to make a register of all the citizens of India, in which there should be citizens as well as non-citizens.

After this, in 2004 a group of ministers was assigned to this issue. Manmohan Singh was the Prime Minister then. The group of ministers recommended that it is mandatory to make a register of all citizens of India. For this, section 14A has been added to the Citizenship Amendment Act.

NPR update mandatory

From December 3, 2004, under that section, it is mandatory for all citizens of the country to register and maintain the register. This is not optional for anyone.

The Congress government carried out this and carried out a pilot project. Under this, identity cards were given under NPR between 2009 and 2011 in some districts, especially coastal districts.

On July 7, 2012, the then President Pratibha Singh Patil was also presented the first identity card by Home Minister P Chidambaram. The NPR process that took place between April 2010 and September 2010 was linked to the Center. In 2015, the Modi government updated that NPR.

This NPR has to be updated. That is why the government has decided to update it under the census.

The government has not done anything new. What was going on only needs to be updated. In the same way, such as driving license or other ID such as Voter ID etc., renewal or updation occurs.

This updation happens for two reasons - it gives the government the benefit in making welfare schemes and the security agencies are able to get information about a citizen.


UPA laid the foundation of NRC


The process of making the National Eye Card started in 2003 during the BJP-led NDA government, which was taken forward by the Congress.

The current government has not taken any new initiative. That is why it has become very difficult for the Congress. The video of Chidambaram's speech has come out, talk of giving identity card to the then President Pratibha Patil is coming out.

Protests started about the CAA i.e. the Citizenship Amendment Act with the fear that NRC would be implemented after that. It was not wrong to conclude this. But after this confusion has been spread that the citizenship of Indian Muslims will be abolished which is absolutely wrong. The amendment that has taken place, everyone knows that the minority of three countries is connected with giving citizenship to the refugees.

The second thing is that when NRC will be implemented, it can be discussed. But this question has no meaning whether NRC will apply or not. Because the UPA Government itself has arranged this. At that time its name was National Register of Indian Citizens (NRIC). Therefore NRC has to be implemented naturally.

Congress in trouble

The Congress seems to be coming to the backfoot because the BJP has done more than what it has just done. The BJP is trying to take it to the logical end.

The entire basis of the protest that the Congress had laid, has become so many holes in it that it is now facing difficulties. If there had been a statement from the party about NPR earlier, there would have been a mention in its manifesto, then the Congress could have easily said that earlier of course we had said this but now we are not in favor of it.

But during the tenure of the Congress-led UPA, this work has been done during that period. In such a situation, it is difficult for the Congress to step back from the steps taken during that time. Now she cannot say that what we were doing was good but it is bad if the government is doing it.


Congress has no problem with NRP opposition

Every case has two aspects - one political and the other technical aspect. The purpose of every government to bring the same bill is different, that is, there is a politics behind it.

Opposition is not very objection to NPR. But it is understood that after the statement made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Ramlila Maidan on the controversy related to NRC, it seems that efforts are being made to cover up by bringing NPI.

When swords are drawn, it is difficult to put them back. The Congress has not come on too much backfoot because the UPA government was finished in 2014 itself.

It has been six years since the Congress withdrew from power. What happened during that time is not in mind. Politics is revolving around what is happening today.

'NPR-NRC debate - ideology fight'
This NPR and NRC debate is a battle of ideology. There is no objection in this that the register of citizens of the country should be made and the matter of citizenship should be cleared. It is also mentioned in the Constitution and the courts have also said.

There is no objection in the technical aspect of this case but questions are being raised on what is the political intention. Different parties have different political motives.

The way the CAA was brought in and talked about keeping people out on the basis of religion, it has caused confusion.

The line will be drawn between the Congress and the BJP or the NDA and the UPA. It is not that the opposition was called on behalf of the government and it was said that our intention in this matter is, we are trying to do this. Such an initiative was not done by the opposition even when it should happen in a democracy.

Pure politics is happening on the matter


The most important view in this whole matter. Some people may remain that the Congress is retreating or the Congress may say that whatever the BJP is doing, it is wrong.

But the truth is that pure politics is being done in it. Both sides are trying to show themselves as winners.

The NRC case is sensitive. BJP does not want it to look like it is pulling back. She wants to stick to this issue.

At the same time, the opposition is trying to show that NPR is actually a step that is being taken towards NRC. Everything that happened before about NPR has gone in the background.