New Delhi: Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Sunday slammed the government over the National Population Register (NPR), saying that the country doesn’t want NPR and remarking that the BJP, which is in power at the centre will not determine whether one is Indian or not.
The government last week approved the updation of NPR. Critics, however, argue that the NPR is the first step towards what will be a pan-India National Register of Citizens (NRC).
Speaking at an event Lucknow, the former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister said, “The BJP won’t decide if we are Indians or not. We want employee and livelihood and not NPR. The experts are saying that the economy is in ICU.”
“Mahatma Gandhi showed us the way in South Africa by burning some cards. Here, if the need arises, I will be the first one who will not fill any form. But the question is if you will support it or not. Hum nahin bharte NPR, kya karenge aap (We won’t fill NPR, what will you do)?”
The government’s move to approve the updation of NPR came amid nationwide protests against the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and NRC. Even as the government has tried to explain that the NPR would be linked to the 2021 Census, the opposition has countered it saying that it would eventually lead to a nationwide NRC.
Besides slamming the BJP over NPR and economy, Akhilesh also criticised his successor as Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Yogi Adityanath, for alleged police excesses in the state in the wake of violent anti-CAA protests between December 19 and 21.
Nearly two dozen protesters have been killed in the state leading to several members of the civil society calling for the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister to resign, as well as an investigation into the ‘police excesses’ in state.