Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday, 18 February, differentiated between the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the National Registrar of Citizens (NRC), saying that the two are different issues. While maintaining that the Maharashtra state government would not let NRC be implemented, he said that there was no need to fear CAA, and that he would personally check the forms for the National Population Register (NPR).
CAA, NRC, NPR Are All Different Issues
As reported by The Indian Express, Thackeray said, “CAA and NRC are different issues. NPR is the third issue. Nobody should fear about the CAA. NRC hasn’t come and will not come. If NRC is implemented, it will create problems not only for Muslims but for Hindus, Dalits, tribals and others. Centre has not made any statement on NRC. NPR is a census and I will go through columns given in the form. I don’t think there will be any problem with it. The census is carried out every ten years.”
The Shiv Sena had supported the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Lok Sabha, but had walked out when voting was done in Rajya Sabha. The Thackeray-led government has consistently maintained that NRC will not be done in the state.
‘We Will Convince Sena’: Sharad Pawar
NCP leader Sharad Pawar also commented on the issue, pointing out that the party had voted against it.
"Chief Minister Thackeray has his own view. As far as NCP is concerned, we have voted against CAA. We have a coalition government in Maharashtra and we will have a discussion on it soon,” he told reporters, according to ANI.
In contrast to the Shiv Sena, Pawar and the NCP have been in staunch opposition to the CAA, something that they have been attacked for.
"We will convince the Sena," Pawar said, according to NDTV.
BJP leader and former Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis had lashed out at Pawar’s stand previously, saying that the NCP was deliberately creating confusion about the central government’s policies.
(With inputs from ANI, The Indian Express and NDTV.)