NCP leader and Maharashtra Minority Affairs Minister Nawab Malik on Thursday claimed that either Centre was hiding something or misleading Parliament over there being no religion-wise break-up of citizenship granted during 2014-19, claiming senior ministers are announcing break-ups publicly.
The NCP national spokesperson's statement comes a day after Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai informed in the Parliament that as many as 18,999 people from neighbouring countries have been granted Indian citizenship during 2014-19.
"On the floor of the House of the Parliament, the government said they have granted citizenship to 19,000 people during 2014-19. The government also explained there is no religion break-up citizenship. Most of them are from Bangladesh. Then on what basis Nirmala Sitharaman (Finance Minister) and Rajnath Singh (Defence Minister) have claimed that 600 Muslims have been granted Indian citizenship?" asked Malik while speaking to news agency ANI.
"If Parliament misled or the government cannot give the break up to the Parliament, then why senior ministers are announcing numbers and break-ups publicly. Either they have misled the country or hiding something," he said.
In a written reply to a question regarding country-wise details of applications for Indian Citizenship during 2014-19 in Rajya Sabha, Rai on Wednesday had informed that records of persons granted citizenship under section 5 by registration or under section 6 by naturalization of the Citizenship Act, 1955 are maintained as per the provisions of the Citizenship Act, 1955 and rules made thereunder. The Minister stated that these records are not maintained religion-wise.
After signing of Indo-Bangladesh Land Boundry Agreement, 14,864 Bangladeshi nationals were granted Indian Citizenship under section 7 of the Citizenship Act, 1955, Rai stated. In total, 15,036 Bangladeshi nationals have been granted Indian citizenship. Meanwhile, 2,935 Pakistani nationals were granted citizenship during this period.
Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on January 30 had said that the Citizenship Act of the country has a provision for Muslims from Pakistan who wants to come and stay in India and as many as 600 such people have been given citizenship during the last five-six years.
"If any Muslim brother from Pakistan wants to come to India and wants to stay here, then we have a provision in our citizenship act, through which they can get Indian citizenship. And I wish to tell you, we have given citizenship to 600 such Muslim brothers who came from Pakistan during the last 5-6 years, still, attempts are made to provoke hatred," the Minister said while addressing a public meeting in Delhi.
(With agency inputs)