Questioning Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray's stance on the National Population Register (NPR), Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari on Saturday, stated that Thackeray must be briefed on the 2003 Citizenship rules. Reaffirming that NPR was the basis of NRC, Tewari added that once NPR was performed, NRC cannot be stopped. Taking a jibe its Hindutva ally, the Congress spokesperson also said that Thackeray must be reminded that religion cannot be the basis of religion.
CM Maharashtra @UddhavThackarey requires a briefing on Citizenship Amendment Rules -2003 to understand how NPR is basis of NRC. Once you do NPR you can not stop NRC.On CAA-needs to be reacquainted with design of Indian Constitution that religion can not be basis of Citizenship.— Manish Tewari (@ManishTewari) February 22, 2020
After meeting PM Modi in Delhi on Friday, Thackeray held a press conference in which he maintained that the NPR was a regular exercise like the census and that a nationwide NRC would not be implemented. However, after meeting Congress interim-chief Sonia Gandhi, Thackeray tweeted that the Maharashtra government would not allow NPR in the state if the new columns proposed in the NPR forms were found to be problematic after scrutiny. This is the first time that Shiv Sena has hinted at the possibility of not implementing the NPR.
The NPR is proposed along with the census. It happened in 2010 too. Census happens every 10years in our country. If there are new columns proposed in the NPR, they will be scrutinised by our government & if it seems problematic we won’t take it ahead. (3/4)— Office of Uddhav Thackeray (@OfficeofUT) February 21, 2020
Similarly, in the above-mentioned press conference, he observed that no individual needed to worry about the CAA as it was a legislation to give citizenship to persecuted minorities in neighbouring countries. But post-Gandhi meet, Thackeray tweeted that the legislation 'seems' to not take away one's citizenship. Moreover, he added cast aspersion over the implementation and practicality of the CAA.
This meetings comes amidst Thackeray locking horns with NCP chief Sharad Pawar over the transfer of the Elgaar Parishad case from the Maharashtra police to the National Investigation Agency (NIA), with the former opposing it and the latter green-lighting it. Apart from this, Thackeray has also announced the dates for the NPR process to be conducted in Maharashtra from May 1. In response, Pawar has claimed he will convince Thackeray to reconsider on NPR as the NCP-Congress is against the process and the NCP-led Home Ministry has claimed that they will push for a parallel probe into the Elgar Parishad case. Shiv Sena which formed a secular coalition has been locking horns over Hindutva with Congress, majorly over its hero- Savarkar.