Country-wide NRC not been discussed in govt: Ram Madhav

Nistula Hebbar New Delhi | Updated on February 23, 2020 Published on February 23, 2020

BJP’s General Secretary Ram Madhav in conversation with The Hindu’s Associate Editor Narayan Lakshaman on Sunday   -  SampathKumarGP

The Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) General Secretary Ram Madhav said that the party was in favour of early restoration of political activity in Jammu and Kashmir, and that despite the continued incarceration of top political leaders, including three ex-chief ministers of the State, political parties in J&K could start the process.

He was speaking at a session entitled India’s Political Future: Looking at 2024 and Beyond that was moderated by Narayan Lakshman, Associate Editor at The Hindu.

Madhav said that the release of the “remaining six to seven” top political leaders would only be possible after a security assessment.

He added that political activity could be restarted by other leaders like the National Conference and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and that both parties had at least taken the decision (pending release of their top leaders) to restart political activity at the district level.

Answering a question from N Ram on the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the its linkages with the National Population Register (NPR) and an eventual National Register of Citizenship (NRC),

‘NRC not in the pipeline’

Madhav said that the NPR was a routine exercise agreed upon by all States. “No state government has the constitutional right to refuse to carry it out,” he said, adding, however, that States with specific issues with the questionnaire for the NPR could take it up with the Home Ministry. A country-wide NRC, he said, had not been discussed at any level in the government and discussing it in the context of CAA was not needed. “As and when it happens, all stakeholders will be consulted,” he said.

However, he did not clarify the status of Clause six of the Assam Accord after the passage of the CAA. “The NRC in Assam was done under the aegis of the Supreme Court and was an unfinished business of the Assam Accord,” he said.

On the BJP’s defeat in the Delhi Assembly polls, its fifth defeat in Assembly polls after the thumping Lok Sabha victory of 2019, Madhav said that it was a reflection that the electorate was looking at performance and confidence in leadership, which was a challenge for the current political parties.

Foreign policy

On the eve of US President Donald Trump’s visit, Madhav answered questions on foreign policy and the events planned for the visit including a civic reception at Motera stadium in Gujarat. “While foreign policy is a continuum, Prime Minister Modi’s unique contribution has been his ability to strike good relationships with world leaders. “Vajpayeeji (late prime minister) had called India and the US natural allies, and Gujaratis in particular have a special connect with the US and the civic reception by the people of Ahmedabad is an expression of that,” he said.

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Published on February 23, 2020
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