P Chidambaram says Congress' NPR form had different context from BJP's; terms Centre's population log part of 'sinister agenda'

  • Days after BJP replugged a video of Sonia Gandhi enumerating for the National Population Register, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram lashed out at the ruling party for conflating the Congress-era exercise with what the BJP has planned to undertake

  • The BJP had also earlier released a video of former prime minister Manmohan Singh batting for granting of citizenship to persecuted minorities in neighbouring countries, under CAA.

  • Chidambaram said that under the UPA, the stress was on residency and not citizenship, as under the BJP's version of the exercise

Days after BJP replugged a video of Sonia Gandhi enumerating for the National Population Register, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram lashed out at the ruling party for conflating the Congress-era exercise with what the BJP has planned to undertake in the shadows of nationwide protests against National Register of Citizens — a so-called log of 'true' Indian citizens to weed out 'illegal immigrants' from the country. The BJP had also earlier released a video of former prime minister Manmohan Singh batting for granting of citizenship to persecuted minorities in neighbouring countries, under CAA.

Chidambaram said that under the UPA, the stress was on residency and not citizenship, as under the BJP's version of the exercise. He alleged that the National Population Register (NPR) approved by the BJP government was different and dangerous in terms of the "text and context" of the data collection done in 2010.

Charging that the BJP government has a "sinister agenda", he said if the BJP's motives are bonafide, the Government should unconditionally state that they support the NPR form and design of 2010 and do not intend to link it to the controversial NRC.

"The BJP-led government has a larger and more sinister agenda and that is why the NPR approved by them yesterday is very dangerous and different in terms of the TEXT as well as the CONTEXT of NPR 2010.

"If the BJP's motives are bonafide, let the Government unconditionally state that they support the NPR form and design of 2010 and have no intention of linking it to the controversial NRC," he said on Twitter.

Chidambaram also said that he is happy that the BJP has released a video clip of the launch of NPR in 2010.

"Please listen to the video. We were enumerating the "usual residents" of the country. The emphasis is on residency not citizenship," he said.

The Congress leader said cases have been registered against 8000 persons for anti-CAA protest in Chennai; 1300 booked in Madurai; against 1200 for taking out a candle march in Aligarh.

"Long live the right to assemble peacefully guaranteed by the Constitution! "Police believe that peaceful protests are more dangerous to law and order then rape, murder and lynching," he said on Twitter.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Dec 26, 2019 13:41:15 IST