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LJP says protests show govt failed to dispel confusion over Citizenship Amendment Act

PTI New Delhi | Updated on December 20, 2019 Published on December 20, 2019

Chirag Paswan

Chirag Paswan wanted Amit Shah to call a meeting of the ruling National Democratic Alliance to hold deliberations over the contentious proposal.

BJP’s ally Lok Janshakti Party on Friday indicated its opposition to the NRC, and sought to distance itself from the Union Government over the citizenship law, asserting that nationwide protests show that the Centre has “failed” to dispel confusion among a significant section of society.

LJP chief Chirag Paswan, whose party had backed the Citizenship Amendment Bill in Parliament, also released a letter he had written to BJP President Amit Shah, urging him to call a meeting of the ruling National Democratic Alliance to hold deliberations over the contentious proposal.

“Disaffection against the law continues in the country despite the bill’s passage by Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. The LJP had urged the government for deliberations among allies precisely to ensure that such a situation does not arise,” he said.

In his tweets, Paswan assured Muslims and Dalits besides other “deprived” sections of society that his party will pay full attention to their concerns over the NRC. “The LJP will not support any bill that is not in the interest of the common man,” he said.

In his December 6 letter to Shah, Paswan had told the Amit Shah, also the Union Home Minister, that the bill would impact the entire country, and different voices were being heard on its provisions. He said the proposed legislation will have far-reaching implications and underscored the issue’s seriousness to urge him a call a meeting of NDA constituents.

All NDA partners should be heard so that the alliance came across united on this serious issue, he said.

Parliament had passed the bill in the second week of December.

‘Government’s failure’

In another tweet, Paswan noted that the protests are happening in various parts of the country with people linking the National Register of Citizens (NRC) with the amended law. “This has made it clear that the government has failed to dispel confusion in a significant section of people of the country,” he tweeted.

Paswan’s comments underlines effort by the Bihar-based party to nuance its stand on the contentious issue after strongly backing the government earlier over the matter. The government has asserted that the law has nothing to do with the NRC, and that Indian citizens will not be affected by them.

Another major BJP ally, JD(U), made it clear on Friday that it will oppose the NRC. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who is also JD(U) president, on asserted that National Register for Citizens will not be implemented in the state. His party, too, had backed the amendments in citizenship law in Parliament.

Published on December 20, 2019
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