A day after Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh and other top Congress leaders read out from the preamble of the constitution at a “Satyagraha” to protest the citizenship law, Prashant Kishor’s tweets nudged Rahul Gandhi to take a firm stand on the National Register for Citizens or NRC in Congress-ruled states. Nothing short of an official declaration by Congress president Sonia Gandhi would do, the poll strategist-turned-politician posted on Tuesday.
“Thanks Rahul Gandhi for joining the citizens’ movement against #CAA_NRC. But as you know beyond public protests we also need states to say no to #NRC to stop it. We hope you will impress upon the CP (Congress president) to officially announce that there will be no NRC in the Congress-ruled states,” said Prashant Kishor, Janata Dal United vice president.
“Rather than trying to inform me what Congress CMs have said please share the official statement of the Congress President announcing that there will NO NRC in Congress ruled states I am sorry voting against CAB didn’t stop it, states saying NO to NRC will. So don’t get confused,” Mr Kishor added.
Mr Kishor’s vociferous objection to the NRC drove his party boss Nitish Kumar, the Chief Minister of Bihar, to denounce it officially even at the cost of upsetting ally BJP.
Yesterday, as Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy joined the growing list of chief ministers saying “no” to the citizen’s register exercise, the role of Mr Kishor was talked about. Mr Kishor is credited with crafting Jagan Reddy’s successful campaign in the Andhra Pradesh election earlier this year, which left his predecessor N Chandrababu Naidu decimated.
Other chief ministers who have made similar declarations earlier are – Mamata Banerjee (Bengal), Nitish Kumar (Bihar), Naveen Patnaik (Odisha), Amarinder Singh (Punjab), Kamal Nath (Madhya Pradesh) Ashok Gehlot (Rajasthan) and Pinarayi Vijayan (Kerala).
The NRC, which was carried out in Assam on Supreme Court orders, has become vastly controversial after being linked by BJP leaders including Home Minister Amit Shah to the citizenship law.
The citizenship law enables Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists, Parsis and Jains to become Indian citizens easily if they fled religious persecution in the Muslim-dominated countries Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. Critics fear the citizenship law and NRC will be used as twin tools to drive out undocumented Muslims.