Patna: Two days after Bihar’s ruling Janata Dal (United) national vice-president Prashant Kishor was assured by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar that the National Register of Citizens (NRC) will not be implemented in Bihar, many including minorities, are apprehensive about this promise.
After JD-U supported Citizenship (Amendment) Bill [CAB] in both the houses of Parliament, Kishor had reportedly offered to resign from his post.
“Who will believe Nitish Kumar, who is a known paltu ram (a turncoat)? He was opposing NRC publicly till the last month and later, his party supported CAB in Parliament. He has now assured that he will not implement NRC in Bihar. Was he sleeping when the JD-U supported CAB?” questioned Afroj Alam, a retired government employee and a resident of Phulwarisharif.
Mohd Munna, a rickshaw-puller, said that Nitish Kumar no longer has people’s trust, as he says something and does something else. “We had voted for his party, but later, he joined hands with the BJP. How can we trust him now?” he asked.
Arshad Azmal, vice president of Sahulat, a mico-finance society in Patna, said “The CM is not saying anything to the people of the state; so, there is skepticism.” He added that after JD-U supported CAB in Parliament, even vocal Muslim supporters of Nitish Kumar appear hesitant to stand with him.
“How can we take his assurance seriously now because it was Nitish, who had publicly declared to work for RSS-free India and had announced ‘mitti mein mil jayenge Magar BJP se hath nahi milayenge (We’d be rather reduced to ashes than work with BJP)’,” said Mahendar Yadav, convenor of Koshi Nav Nirman Manch.
Danish Ahmad Khan, a social activist fron Gaya, said “Nitish Kumar is trying to fool the people. NRC is a central subject and no state government has the right to disobey or overruled it. He displayed his motives while voting for the Bill in Parliament.”
Danish alleged that Nitish has his reasons to support CAA, as he is embroiled in various scams: from multicrore Srijan to Muzaffarpur shelter home rape case.
Ranjeev, a green activist, told NewsClick that this is nothing but another jumla ahead of Bihar Assembly polls. “Times have changed. Earlier, JD-U was critical of controversial issues like Ram Temple, Article 370, Triple Talaq. Now, the party has supported controversial CAB despite some party leaders’ opposition,” he said.
Three senior JD-U leaders including national general secretary K C Tyagi and two Bihar ministers, Ashok Choudhary and Shayam Razak, had opposed NRC. “If NRC can’t be implemented in Assam, how can it be implemented in Bihar? We can assure [the people] that NRC will not be implemented in the state,” Choudhary said.
Protests against CAA and NRC continued in Bihar on Monday as well. The Left parties have called for a statewide bandh on December 19, while the RJD will observe a shutdown on December 21 against the controversial Act.
However, notwithstanding the protests, senior BJP leader and Union Minister Giriraj Singh has said that NRC should be implemented across the country—including Bihar.