After ruckus in Bihar Assembly, Nitish Kumar says 'constitutionality of CAA lies with SC', calls for omission of 'contentious clauses' from NPR forms - LiveNow24x7: Latest News, breaking news, 24/7 news,live news

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Tuesday, 25 February 2020

After ruckus in Bihar Assembly, Nitish Kumar says 'constitutionality of CAA lies with SC', calls for omission of 'contentious clauses' from NPR forms

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar said that the constitutionality of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) lies with the Supreme Court in the Bihar Assembly on Tuesday. His comments came amid a ruckus in the House as BJP members strongly objected to the Opposition describing the amended citizenship act as 'kala kanoon', leading to brief adjournment of proceedings.

Kumar on Tuesday reiterated his opposition to "additional clauses" inserted in the National Population Register (NPR) forms and said that the state government has written to the Centre urging that these be dropped.

Replying to a debate on an adjournment motion moved by Leader of Opposition Tejashwi Yadav and others, Kumar told the Assembly that there should be "no confusion" regarding how the NPR exercise would be carried out in the state and that nobody would be asked to furnish information like places of birth of parents. Reading out the text of the letter to the Centre, Kumar said it has also been proposed by the Bihar government that "transgenders" be included in the gender column.

File image of Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar. Reuters

The Hindu reported that Kumar also asserted that that NRC will not be implemented in the state and that NPR should be implemented in its old format of 2010.

Trouble erupted during the debate on the adjournment motion on CAA-NPR-NRC, which was moved by Tejashwi and others and approved by Speaker Vijay Kumar Chaudhary after initial objection raised by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Shravan Kumar.

A strong opponent of the National Register for Citizens despite an alliance with the BJP, Kumar, however, disapproved of "hauva" (bogey) of the NRC being raised by the Opposition despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi's categorical statement that a countrywide implementation was not on the anvil.

He also sought to make light of the virulent opposition by leaders of the RJD and the Congress to the CAA, reading out from the parliamentary proceedings of 2003 to underscore that leaders such as former prime minister Manmohan Singh, former president Pranab Mukherjee and RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav had been in favour of fast-tracking of grant of citizenship to refugees from the neighbouring countries.

Opposition members were on their feet no sooner than the House assembled for the day, demanding a debate on the motion and Kumar said it should be taken up at an appropriate time and not during the Question Hour.

However, Tejashwi pointed out that at a special session convened last month, the chief minister had given an assurance that the issue will be debated during "the next session".

Chaudhary said that since the budget was to be presented around 2 pm and both the treasury and the Opposition were in agreement that a debate could be held, he was approving the adjournment motion.

However, chants of 'kala kanoon' (black law) were made from the Opposition's side when Kumar began replying to the adjournment motion. This was strongly objected to by BJP ministers like Nand Kishore Yadav and Vijay Kumar Sinha, who countered the opposition with the question "does Parliament pass a black law?"

Heated exchanges ensued and members from both sides trooped into the well forcing adjournment of House proceedings for 15 minutes.

With inputs from PTI

February 25, 2020 at 02:03PM

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