In what once again reveals strong fissures in the BJP-JDU coalition in the state of Bihar, the Bihar Legislative Assembly has passed a resolution not to implement the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in the state.
The Assembly has also resolved that the National Population Register (NPR) should be carried out in strict conformity with the 2010 format.
Meanwhile, the RJD has claimed triumph over the resolution. Tejashwi Yadav said, “We shook the BJP, right from Delhi to Patna, which was not ready to budge an inch over the issue of NRC/NPR. BJP just saw it happening…We will not allow the CAA to be implemented in Bihar.”
Ever since the CAA was passed in the Parliament, the JDU has been trying to corner its ally, BJP over the NRC.
Nothing has changed in terms of NRC ever since the CAA was passed. While the Citizenship Amendment legislation had come up before the Rajya Sabha, JDU lawmaker, Ram Chandra Prasad Singh had defended the Amendment emphatically.
At that time he had dismissed all concerns of an NRC voiced by the Opposition with disdain. He had said that national development is supposed to take place for the citizens of this country, and there was no logic of letting the benefits of development to be shared by non-citizens (illegal immigrants).
However, ever since the Opposition parties started spreading rumours and instilling false fears of a pan-India NRC, which they claim would disenfranchise or snatch citizenship of Muslims across the country, the JDU supremo has also joined such elements in raising a false alarm.
Nitish Kumar does not have a very encouraging track record when it comes to maintaining political loyalties. And now his sudden activism against the NRC doesn’t give very good signals as far as the fate of BJP-JDU coalition is concerned in the context of the upcoming Bihar Assembly polls.
Only recently there were reports quoting JD(U) sources as telling that the Bihar CM, Nitish Kumar had been using Prashant Kishor to contact opposition leaders such as AAP supremo, Arvind Kejriwal and DMK chief, M K Stalin. A JD(U) leader was quoted as saying, “Nitish is fooling everyone including Modi and Shah. He wants to keep all options open and is playing a double game.”
RJD has been very vocal against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the National Population Register (NPR). Now, the latest move by Bihar Legislative Assembly is going to bode well with both the RJD and the Congress.
His so-called secular credentials seem to have got the better of Nitish Kumar. With this Resolution, the RJD and the JDU have come together against the NRC and the NPR.
It almost seems inevitable from here that the Nitish Kumar led party will break away from the BJP and try to create a Mahagathbandhan (grand coalition) type of an alliance- one that had also come together against the BJP during the 2015 Bihar Elections. The anti-NRC/ NPR Resolution in Bihar, therefore, seems to be the point of an unavoidable split in the BJP-JDU alliance in Bihar.