Kolkata, 18 January : Former Union Finance minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram here today reiterated his allegation that the proposed National Population Register(NPR) was the first step for introducing the National Register of Citizens(NRC) in the country and demanded their immediate scrapping lock stock and barrel.
‘The nation is ready to fight unitedly to prevent them from coming into effect, he claimed.
Speaking to reporters at the West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee headquarters here this afternoon at the conclusion of a day long Workshop of WBPCC leaders and senior members of the party on NPR and NRC and to explain before them the stand of Congress on both the issues, the Former Union minister said ‘ I have come here to explain to our party leaders in Bengal about the views of the Congress’ opposition regarding NPR and NRC, so that they could fan out in every corner of the state to explain the same before a much larger audience’.
Alleging that both NPR and NRC were the two ‘most sinister designs’ of the Narrendra Modi government at the Centre,Chidambaram claimed that they were allegedly aimed at ‘dividing the nation on communal and religious ground’ and in total contrast of the Constitution of India which was very thoughtfully formulated by Baba Saheb Ambedkar and several other the then think tanks of Independent India.
‘We have now decided to mobilise massive public opinion against the sinister designs of the union government and seek their support to abandon such mischievous moves of those in power’, he said.
Later replying to queries about the non participation of Chief minister Mamata Banerjee the supreme leader of ruling Trinamool Congress,along with BSP leader Mayavati,SP leader Akhilesh Yadav and Delhi Chief minister and AAP leader Arvind Kezriwal in the recent All Party Meeting,as convened by Sonia Gandhi, providing a major jolt to the oppositon unity against the Modi Government,the Former Union minister claimed that all these leaders had, however, extended their full support to any united opposition move to stop the introduction of NPR, NRC and even CAA.
But when his attention was drawn towards the unexpected support of the Chief Secretaries of several Congress ruled states at yesterday’s meeting in New Delhi on both the issues,an embarrassed looking Chidambaram tried to defend the role of those officials and said,the final decision on these issues rested on the respective Chief ministers only,who were all united in opposing both the Draconian bills.
Moreover, mere participation in a such meetings does not signify their acceptance to such mischievous moves of the union government’,he reiterated further.
It may be recalled that Chidambaram who arrived here last night,for the first time since his release from the Central jail last year, also visited the open air fortnight long protest rally of several women at Park Circus crossing against CAA and NRC to express his solidarity with their protest , like the one at Shaheenabad in New Delhi on similar ground.