Addressing a press conference on Saturday, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar stated that the National Register of Citizens (NRC) was an issue concerning national interest. Asserting that it was not a political issue for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), he opined that the party’s central leadership had decided to implement the NRC in all BJP-ruled states. He further added that citizens of another country had no right to stay in India without necessary permissions. Khattar observed that such people did not have any attachment towards the country, thereby necessitating the NRC.
Citing the example of former CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda who supported the move, he expressed displeasure on successive Congress governments dragging their feet on the issue. He recollected that while the work on NRC had started in 1982, it got stalled due to several complications including court cases. The Haryana CM categorically stated that the BJP would do everything possible to uphold the interest of the nation. He accused the opposition of making the NRC an electoral issue and asked them to refrain from doing so in the future.
Initially published in 1951, the NRC was specifically demanded in Assam by the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) due to the centuries-old illegal migration of people. The ill-treatment of people in East Pakistan and the subsequent war in 1971 exacerbated the situation as thousands of persons from that region entered Assam. The Assam Accord signed by Rajiv Gandhi in 1985 principally agreed to the AASU’s demand. However, it took decades before the process commenced, after the direction of the Supreme Court. Assam’s final list of the NRC left out 19,06,657 number of persons. Overall, 3,11,21,004 people were found eligible for inclusion in the list.
West Bengal (WB) Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee took out a protest rally against the NRC on September 12. Starting from Sinthi More, Banerjee, along with all elected representatives and functionaries of her party Trinamool Congress marched till Shyambazar in north Kolkata. However, hours before this, the Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind General Secretary Mahmood Madani backed the implementation of the NRC. He maintained that he had no problem if the NRC process was carried out in the entire country. This, he observed, would help identify the 'intruders' in India.