ANI Photo | “CAA not to be implemented in Bihar”: JDU leader Khalid Anwar triggers row over notification of citizenship law

Deviating from the official line of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) on the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), Janata Dal (United) leader Khalid Anwar on Sunday said the law, guaranteeing permanent residency to members of persecuted religious minorities in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, will not be implemented in Bihar.
The remark assumes significance as the JD(U) partners with the BJP and other allies in the ruling NDA coalition in the state.
Speaking to reporters on Sunday, Anwar claimed that JD(U) chief and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has ruled out the implementation of the CAA in Bihar.
“The CAA will not be implemented in Bihar. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has already made it clear that all 13 crore residents in the state are Biharis and there is no need for the CAA, NRC (National Register of Citizens) or NPR (National Population Register) here. As long as Nitish-ji remains in power, no one needs to worry about the CAA,” Anwar told reporters at a press conference in Motihari on Sunday.
Amid the Opposition furore over the notification of rules for the implementation of the CAA last week, the JD(U) leader sought to dispel fears of loss of citizenship, saying that the law merely intended to give permanent residentship to religious minorities from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, who are living in the country as refugees, and not take away anyone’s citizenship.
“Those instilling fear among people that their citizenship will be taken away are spreading falsehoods,” he added.
Supporting his argument that there was no need for the CAA to be rolled out in Bihar, the minority leader said the previous Nitish Kumar-led government passed a resolution in the Assembly that neither the NRC nor the NPR would be implemented in the state.
“I would like to reiterate that as long as Nitish Kumar is in power, no one from Bihar, irrespective of their religion, will be deprived of their citizenship. During the previous government, we passed a resolution in the Assembly that there is no need for NPR or NRC in Bihar and such laws will not be implemented here,” Anwar said.
His statement could ruffle feathers in the ruling NDA, as it pointed to a clear dissonance between CM Nitish and his coalition partners, especially the BJP, on implementing a crucial piece of legislation.
Last week, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) notified rules for implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), days ahead of the announcement of the schedule for the Lok Sabha elections.
The act aims to provide citizenship to persecuted non-Muslim migrants, including Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis, and Christians, who migrated from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan and arrived in India before December 31, 2014.
“I spoke on CAA at least 41 times on different platforms, clarifying that the minorities of the country need not be afraid because it has no provision to take back the rights of any citizen. The CAA aims to confer Indian citizenship on persecuted non-Muslim migrants, including Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis, and Christians, who migrated from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan and arrived in India before December 31, 2014. This law aims at ending the sufferings that they have endured for long,” Union Home Minister Amit Shah said in an interview with ANI earlier

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