Patna: Protests against Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (CAB) as well as the National Register for Citizens (NRC) continued in Bihar on Wednesday, as hundreds took to streets, demanding scrapping of the Bill. Opposition parties to different organisations have taken out protest march and staged dharna.
Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav, who is also the leader of the opposition in Bihar, on Wednesday staged a dharna along with the party leaders and workers against CAB and NRC. “We will not sit silently, we will continue to protest, as CAB is unconstitutional. It has been clearly written in the Constitution of India that the country cannot be divided on the basis of religion,” Tejashwi said.
He added, “We will not allow some people to spread hate and will have to fight against them.''
The RJD leader said that some Janata Dal (United) leaders are raising questions against CAB a day after it was passed in Lok Sabha. “It’s all part of their drama. Nobody in JD-U has the courage to go against Nitish Kumar. One thing is clear that Kumar has compromised [his integrity] by supporting the Bill just to remain in power—at the cost of the Constitution”.
RJD spokesperson Bhai Virendar told NewsClick that the party will intensify its protest against CAB and NRC. “RJD along with its allies of the Grand Alliance would fight against implementation of NRC in Bihar,” he said.
Former Union Minister Upendar Kushwaha of Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) said, “CAB and NRC are against the social harmony and interest of the people and the country. In view of this, RLSP has extended its support to RJD dharna.”
Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) spokesperson Danish Rizwan, too, said that the party has been opposing it and will stage a protest against CAB and NRC soon.
RJD’s ally Congress took out a protest march against CAB and NRC in Patna, which was followed by a dharna near a statue of Mahatma Gandhi here. Congress state president Madan Mohan Jha attacked the BJP-led central government for dividing the country for the sake of power and for diverting the attention of people from the slowdown of the economy.
Left parties and their student bodies, too, staged protest against CAB and NRC on Monday.
On the other hand, even though Bihar’s JD-U has supported the CAB in Lok Sabha as well as in Rajya Sabha, three senior party leaders have come forward to oppose the Bill and have urged Nitish Kumar to reconsider the party’s stance.
After the party’s national vice-president Prashant Kishor, senior JD-U leader Pavan K Verma has also expressed his disappointment over JD-U’s support to CAB. “I urge Nitish Kumar to reconsider [the decision to] support to the CAB in the Rajya Sabha. The Bill is unconstitutional, discriminatory, and against the unity and harmony of the country, apart from being against the secular principles of the JD-U. Gandhi ji would have strongly disapproved of it,” said the former MP.
Senior JD-U leader and retired IPS officer N K Singh said, “Yesterday was a black day in the post-Independence era. Leaving behind an India of Gandhi, Nehru and Patel—a secular, pluralistic, democratic India—we have taken a step towards a Hindu rashtra of Golwalkar, Savarkar and RSS. Towards a Hindu Pakistan. But signs say that they won’t succeed.”
Reports say that two Muslim leaders from JD-U have also appealed to Kumar to reconsider the support to CAB and NRC.