‘Against NRC, Not Citizenship Act’: Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday said BJD has backed the amended CAA but does not support NRC.

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India
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Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday said the ruling BJD had backed the amended citizenship law but does not support NRC.
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Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday said the ruling BJD had backed the amended citizenship law as it applies only to foreigners but does not support NRC. He also appealed to the people of Odisha to maintain peace and not fall for rumours.

Patnaik, who for the first time clarified the BJDs stand on the two contentious issues, justified his party’s support to the CAA, noting it applied only to foreigners and not Indian citizens.

Odisha Chief Minister while appealing to the people to maintain peace and not fall for rumours, said "The amended Citizenship Act has nothing to do with Indians. It deals only with foreigners.”

“The amended Citizenship Act has nothing to do with Indians. It deals only with foreigners.”
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik

Patnaik also maintained that BJD MPs both in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha have made it clear that the party do not support the National Register of Citizens.

The chief minister's statement came a day after people protesting the Act took out a peaceful rally in the state capital and urged Patnaik to make the BJD government's position clear on the amended citizenship law and the NRC.

Though there had been no major law and order problem across the state following passage of the citizenship legislation, Odisha on Tuesday witnessed agitation by Muslim community members who sought a clarification from the chief minister. The state has over 9 lakh Muslim population according to the 2011 census.

Muslim Community Welcome’s Statement

"The Chief Ministers statement has come as a great relief for all the Muslims living in Odisha. NRC should not be implemented in the peace loving state like Odisha," said Jamil Akhtar Khan, a member of the delegation Chauda Mahala Muslim Jamaat with headquarter at Bhadrak.

Though there had been no major law and order problem across the state following passage of the citizenship legislation, Odisha on Tuesday witnessed agitation by Muslim community members who sought a clarification from the chief minister. The state has over 9 lakh Muslim population according to the 2011 census.

“During the discussion in Rajya Sabha on December 11, I have mentioned that our party BJD feels that this bill (CAB) has nothing to do with NRC. NRC is a different issue and needs to be discussed at length. This bill should not be linked to NRC. NRC is a vast subject and government must be ready to discuss it in future.”
BJDs Rajya Sabha MP Sasmit Patra

The regional party having 12 members in Lok Sabha and 7 MPs in Rajya Sabha had voted in favour of the CAA in both Houses of Parliament. Opposition BJP and Congress criticized Patnaik over his stand. "Naveen Babu considers the people of Odisha as fools. People know what BJD is doing in Delhi durbar.

Saying yes to CCA and no to NRC is nothing but the double-standard of the chief minister," said Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Niranjan Patnaik. Former MP and senior BJP leader Kharabela Swain also criticized Patnaik's statement.

“The Chief Minister is opposing NRC because of his vote bank politics like Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal. By opposing NRC, Patnaik is encouraging infiltrators to grow in Odisha,” Swain told reporters.

Senior BJP leader Prithviraj Harichandan termed Patnaik’s statement as "unfortunate." "At a time when some sections of people are protesting against CAA after misinterpreting it, it is very unfortunate that the CM is making such a statement. There is a need of NRC in the country to stop intruders from entering into the country," he added.

(This story was auto-published from a syndicated feed. No part of the story has been edited by The Quint.)

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