Patna: Nitish Kumar today said there should be a special discussion on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) in the Bihar assembly, becoming the first ally to openly call for a rethink on the controversial law and apparently modifying his stand after his party Janata Dal (United) supported the bill in parliament. The Chief Minister made the remarks after the Congress and Lalu Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) attacked the religion-based citizenship law in the special session of the Bihar house.
On the National Register of Citizenship (NRC), Nitish Kumar was more emphatic as he said that there was “no question” or need to implement it in Bihar.
“There should be a discussion on CAA. If everyone wants, then there will be a discussion in this house. As for NRC, there is no question of the NRC and no justification for it,” the Chief Minister said.
Nitish Kumar’s comments acknowledge the objections to the CAA – which has been at the core of nationwide protests by students, activists and political parties — for the first time, though he has ruled out NRC in his state before.
The comment comes a day after Mr Kumar’s number two in the party, poll strategist-turned-politician Prashant Kishor, tweeted: “…would like to reassure to all – CAA-NRC will not be implemented in Bihar.”
Last year, a section of the JDU had gone public with its annoyance at Nitish Kumar’s change of heart on the citizenship law after he criticized it in a party forum and in press conferences.
Prashant Kishor posted several tweets critical of his party boss and even offered his resignation from Nitish Kumar’s party.
Another ally of the BJP, the Akali Dal, had earlier expressed reservation on the NRC and the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. “Akali Dal wants Muslims to be included in the Citizenship Act. We have always talked about the welfare of people of all the religions, not just of the Sikhs,” said Akali Dal leader Sukhbir Badal.