Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Saturday reiterated his opposition to the National Register of Citizens (NRC), saying its nationwide rollout will hit Adivasis hard. Baghel said that he will oppose pan-India NRC rollout even as the government maintains that there has been no discussion on the same. Baghel's comments come days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that pan-India NRC implementation was never discussed by his government.
Speaking to the media, Baghel said, "NRC is being talked about everywhere...It will harm Adivasis most," the Chief Minister told a gathering here.
He said, "My mother, who passed away recently, didn't know her exact date of birth. She never celebrated her birthday. When my mother did not have documents depicting her real birth details, how can I produce mine?"
Earlier Baghel said that the BJP government at the Centre will not be able to implement the NRC and went on to compare it to the ARC, which he claimed was introduced by the British before Independence in India. He said, "The Modi govt has introduced NRC, just like the British introduced the ARC which was heavily protested by Gandhiji."
Kickstarting BJP's campaign in the national capital, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed an electrifying crowd at Ramlila Maidan on December 22. Speaking at Aabhar rally, PM Modi said, "I want to tell the 130 crore people of India that ever since my government came to power in 2014... from then until now... there has been no discussion on NRC anywhere... we only had to implement it in Assam to follow Supreme Court directives," Modi told a gathering in New Delhi earlier this week.
Home Minister Amit Shah, who had on several occasions vowed to implement the NRC, echoed the Prime Minister's views. "There is no need to debate this (pan-India NRC) as there is no discussion on it right now. PM Modi was right and there is no discussion on it yet either in the Cabinet or Parliament."
NRC seeks to identify illegal immigrants in the country. It was rolled out in Assam on the directions of the Supreme Court where 19 lakh people were excluded in the final list.
(with ANI inputs)