New Delhi: Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) President Sharad Pawar on Saturday came down heavily on the Centre, saying the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the proposed National Register of Citizens were “ploys to divert” attention from serious issues plaguing the country. He added that the new citizenship law will “disturb and hurt religious and social unity and harmony of the country”.

“CAA and NRC are ploys to divert people’s attention from serious issues that the country is facing,” he told reporters in Pune.

“Not just minorities, but those who care for the country’s unity and progress are opposing CAA and NRC. The new citizenship law will disturb and hurt religious and social unity and harmony of the country,” he said.

He then went on to question why only migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan will be given citizenship under the amended law and not the Sri Lankan Tamils.

Eight states, including Bihar, ruled by an NDA ally, have refused to implement the law and Maharashtra should also take a similar stand, Pawar said in response to a query.

“The CAA may be a central act, but the implementation will be done by the state agencies. But do the states have resources and machinery to do so,” he asked.

The former Union minister also sought an SIT probe, headed by a retired judge, into Pune police’s action against activists in the Elgar Parishad case.

Meanwhile, on Friday, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said that the contentious National Register of Citizens (NRC) exercise will not be implemented in the state.  “NRC will not be implemented in Bihar,” news agency ANI quoted the Bihar Chief Minister as saying.

The passage of CAB in Parliament has set off countrywide protests, with many saying that the Act violates the democratic fabric of the constitution.

(With PTI inputs)