After BJP posted an old video of P Chidambaram seeking to expose the alleged double standards of Congress on the National Population Register, the senior Congress leader on Thursday defended his remarks. While admitting that the United Progressive Alliance government had launched the NPR in 2010, he opined that the emphasis back then was on “residency” and not citizenship. Contending that the NPR aided the 2011 Census preparation, he maintained that there was no mention of the National Register of Citizens at that time.
I am happy that the BJP has released a video clip of the launch of NPR in 2010.— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) December 26, 2019
Please listen to the video. We were enumerating the "usual residents" of the country. The emphasis is on residency not citizenship.
The NPR aided the preparation of the Census of 2011.— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) December 26, 2019
There was no mention of NRC.
Chidambaram claimed that the NPR approved by the government on Tuesday was “very dangerous”. He alleged that both the text as well as the context of the NPR was radically different from the past. Furthermore, he challenged the Centre to unconditionally declare its support for the 2010 format of the NPR form and to state that it would not be linked to the 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.— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) December 26, 2019
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.— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) December 26, 2019
Earlier in the day, Minister of State, Prime Minister’s Office Dr Jitendra Singh posted an old video of Chidambaram. In the video, the then Union Home Minister P Chidambaram is addressing a press briefing on the NPR. Maintaining that NPR was mandatory in nature, he brushed aside concerns that it could inconvenience the citizens. Chidambaram opined that it was “not a big issue” as people gathered for many occasions such as a wedding and temple festival.