Minister of State for Home affairs - Nityanand Rai confirmed in a written reply in the Lok Sabha on the question of "Whether the government has any plans to introduce a pan India National Register of Citizens (NRC)."
"Till now, the government has not taken any decision to prepare National Register of Indian Citizens (NRIC) at the national level," he said.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Tuesday (February 4th, 2020) said in the Lok Sabha that the Centre has not taken any decision on implementing the National Register of Citizens (NRC) at the national level.
This is the second time when the government has made the declaration on the NRC in Parliament.
On February 3, 2020 as the Parliament opened for the Budget Session, most of the opposition parties, issued notices in both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha seeking a debate and answers on the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 (CAA), National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR).
Notices under Rule 267 were given by the leaders of opposition parties [DMK, CPI, CPI (M), NCP, RJD, TMC, SP and BSP] that is in regard to the Suspension of rules: "Any member, may, with the consent of the Chairman, move that any rule may be suspended in its application to a motion related to the business listed before the Council of that day and if the motion is carried, the rule in question shall be suspended for the time being : Provided further that this rule shall not apply where specific provision already exists for suspension of a rule under a particular chapter of the Rules."
They further contended to adjourn all business and discuss the CAA, NPR and NRC.
"For the last two months, the whole country is on the road since the citizenship bill became an act. The NPR has done earlier but the questions asked were simple, but in this NPR under this government, other details such as the date of birth of the father have been asked," Rajya Sabha member Ghulam Nabi Azad said, according to the PTI.
"The government represents it as a Hindu-Muslim issue. We all feel that there is no Hindu-Muslim issue," Azad said.
The government is doing all this to deliberately divert the attention from their failures to deliver on their promises, he said, adding that "they keep us giving toys to keep us busy."
Protests have been going in several parts of the country over the NRC, CAA and NPR for over a month in some places and since 2019 in the Shaheen Bagh and Jamia Nahar (Delhi).
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP members have categorically said that nationwide NRC has not been discussed by the Centre. Despite the clarification, the West Bengal BJP had earlier this year, released a booklet that claimed after implementation of the CAA, the Register of Citizens will be in the pipeline.
In Assam, the NRC updation exercise was designed to filter out a specific set of non-citizens, or "illegal immigrants", from the total resident status. In line with the Assam Accord of 1985 and Section 6A of the Citizenship Act 1955, the process was aimed at effectively denationalising everyone who came to Assam from Bangladesh after the midnight of 24 March 1971, the day East Pakistan became Bangladesh.
This was done through a rigorous yet torturous document-based application process.
Author: Dyuti Pandya