Bhubaneswar: After supporting the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, Odisha Chief Minister and Biju Janata Dal (BJD) president Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday said that his party does not support the National Register of Citizens (NRC).
“The Citizenship Amendment Act has nothing to do with the Indian citizens, it only deals with foreigners. The BJD MPs has made it clear both in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha that we do not support the NRC,” Patnaik told media persons here.
He also appealed to the people not to indulge in rumour mongering. “I would appeal to our citizens to let peace prevail and not to indulge in rumour mongering,” appealed Patnaik.
Sources said BJD did not support the NRC in an attempt to bolster the Muslim community members’ support back into the party’s fold after supporting CAA. After Patnaik supported the CAB, a major chunk of Muslims said they felt betrayed. In view of it, BJD organised a meeting of the Muslim community members with Patnaik on Friday. The delegation urged him not to implement the NRC in Odisha.
The NRC is a register containing names of all genuine Indian citizens. At present, only Assam has such a register.
The NRC identified illegal immigrants from Assam on the Supreme Court’s order. After Union Home Minister Amit Shah said that the NRC for Assam will be repeated whenever the exercise is conducted nationwide, many Opposition-ruled States and parties spoke out against any pan-India NRC move.