Days after PM Narendra Modi said that there are no talks of bringing NRC across the country, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday said there is no discussion on nationwide NRC now.
Amit Shah said on Tuesday, "There is no need to debate this (pan-India NRC) as there is no discussion on it right now. PM Modi was right and there is no discussion on it yet either in the Cabinet or Parliament."
PM Modi's remark on Sunday sparked sharp reactions from the Opposition who reminded BJP that Amit Shah had on several occasions promised a nationwide NRC soon. During the debate on Citizenship Act in Parliament, Amit Shah had said nationwide NRC will be implemented soon.
On a day when the government announced that the National Population Register (NPR) will be done in 2020, Amit Shah said, "There is no link between National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR), I am clearly stating this today."
"Detention centres have nothing to do with CAA or NRC. Detention centres have been there in India for many years, they have not been built by the Modi government," said Amit Shah and added these centres are only meant for illegal immigrants.
Amit Shah also said that information obtained through NPR cannot be used for NRC and the two are separate processes. Amit Shah once again reiterated that the Union Cabinet has not ever discussed NRC.
Home Minister Amit Shah's remarks came on a day the Union Cabinet approved the proposal for conducting Census of India 2021 and updating of NPR.
Asked about the large detention centres being built in the country, Amit Shah said, "Detention centres are a continuous process. This country has some laws, we cannot let anyone who enters the country illegally to live here. When these people get caught, they are put in detention centres for trial."
The minister said that while Census was held every 10 years and NPR was started by the UPA government and the government was carrying it forward as it was a "good exercise".
"NPR is register of population, NRC is register of citizens. There is no link between the two and the two have different processes," said Amit Shah.
He said the names of people living in the country are in NPR based on which programmes are made. With West Bengal and Kerala having decided to put a stop to NPR exercise, Shah said there should not be politics over the exercise as it is aimed at benefitting citizens and for improving the planning of welfare schemes.
"I will talk and appeal to them that no politics should be done on this", Amit Shah said.