NPR will be conducted in single format across India and all states bound to implement it, says BJP gen secy Bhupendra Yadav - LiveNow24x7: Latest News, breaking news, 24/7 news,live news

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Tuesday, 3 March 2020

NPR will be conducted in single format across India and all states bound to implement it, says BJP gen secy Bhupendra Yadav

Lawyer-turned-politician Bhupendra Yadav is a Rajya Sabha MP and among the most influential national general secretaries of the BJP. He is perceived to be a close confidante of Home Minister Amit Shah. During Shah's tenure as BJP president, Yadav emerged as a key strategist and the man working behind the scenes in all critical elections and on organisational matters. In a conversation with Firstpost, he points to conspiracy in the Delhi riots, a motivated misinformation campaign by so-called liberals on the Citizenship Amendment Act and other aspects related to the riots.

He believes that irrespective of the Bihar government resolution on the National Population Register, all states will be obliged to implement it in the format as prescribed and there could be a single NPR format for the entire nation. He, however, does not take exception to the Bihar Assembly passing resolution for a caste-based Census in 2021, saying the BJP has never been opposed to it.

Edited excerpts from the interview follow:

How did the riots in northeast Delhi — that took 47 lives and counting —  take place when we have a strong government at the Centre? The Delhi Police and law and order, as everyone knows, falls under the under Centre's purview. Is that not very worrying, not just for present but also for the future?

The incidents to which you are referring are very unfortunate. But it can't be denied that there some preparation in place for them. How was it that stones were collected in advance at various places, diesel bombs in large quantities were suddenly made? This, by itself, is a big issue. Also, the way the Opposition — particularly the Congress — is doing politics needs to be examined. The Opposition is continuously trying to create an atmosphere of fear on CAA when nobody's citizenship is being taken away by this Act, nor is any injustice being done to anyone. Even then, a fear psychosis is being created.

Did you not anticipate any emerging situation, particularly during a high-profile visit of US president Donald Trump?

The question of timing is very relevant. It [the violence] began on the eve of Trump's visit. The timing puts an emphatic question mark on the situation. The government has repeatedly made it clear that CAA is not against any Indian citizen. It is only for prosecuted minorities in our neighbouring countries. This is to provide them security. Importantly, organising protests by putting women and children on the frontline, indulging in continuous misinformation and instigating violence can't, in any way, be justified. I feel that the Opposition should move away from this kind of politics and do its bit in taking the nation on a developmental path.

The conspiracy that you talking about. Who are you hinting at? Who are the conspirators? Can you name them the groups or persons?

The Oppositions politics is that of misguiding people. With regard to groups behind this conspiracy, an SIT has been constituted. Let the report come and things will come out clearly before the people.

File image of Bhupendra Yadav. Twitter @byadavbjp

But, how were parts of Delhi allowed to burn for three days? Considering the timing — aimed at domestic and international publicity, which would be negative for India — why did the government machinery not contain and curb it?

The government reacted promptly. It did not want to do anything that could have sharpened the conflict, and so it intervened at the right time. I think normalcy has returned. The situation is peaceful. Investigations will reveal all the facts related to the riots. As for the perceptions, the Trump visit was very successful. Lakhs of people participated in the events organised. Bilateral talks were very productive. People from different walks of life appreciated it. Even in Delhi, except for one area, the city was normal and peaceful. The situation was never out of control in those areas.

Was the government waiting for Trump to leave before taking tough action?

At the government-level, prompt action was taken. I think action was taken at the right time.

Would you say the handling of Shaheen Bagh was soft, allowing protesters to squat and block an arterial road for over two-and-a-half months?

In a democracy, everyone has the right to protest. With regard to the issue that the dharna has been blocking the road for a long time and blocking right of passage to a large number of people, the issue is pending before the judiciary. The government will abide by the verdict of the court.

The Supreme Court sent three interlocutors to Shaheen Bagh, but no conclusion was reached.

The matter is before the court. We hope it is concluded early; everyone wants cases to be disposed of early. My party believes in the judiciary and hopes that the matter is cleared soon. The court has given dates for the hearing. Right from the beginning, the BJP is of the view that this dharna is based on wrongful premises. The issue that they are raising is not an issue. I have said this before that the confusion they are trying to create on the CAA never had a basis. Since they could not confront us with popular votes and policies, they are thus conspiring to create confusion.

Why are you not able to counter Opposition strategy or so-called conspiracy?

That has been fully countered. There is no adverse reaction in districts where the minorities are in dominant position. See for instance, Nuh in Haryana which is neighbouring Delhi, or in western Uttar Pradesh. There is no anti-CAA movement there. This is all a construction by so-called liberals who, since 2014, have been indulging in one thing or another to protest against the Narendra Modi government, all on the basis of lies and fiction.

Even your allies like the Akali Dal are not convinced. The party has some reservations on the provisions of the Act. Its MP Naresh Gujral compared the Delhi riots with the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

The Akali Dal supported the bill in both Houses of Parliament, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. Also, they supported the BJP in the Delhi election. I am not concerned about what an individual says. In no way can this be compared with 1984.

After the Delhi election, Amit Shah did admit that some outlandish uncalled-for statements like those made by Anurag Thakur, Parvesh Verma and Manoj Tiwari (although he didn’t name them) impacted the final outcome of the polls. Even then, we see the likes of Kapil Mishra making provocative statements.

Any statement provoking or justifying violence or designed to hurt the sentiments of any community should never be made. The party does not endorse any such statement. All leaders should refrain from making such statements. Politics is not about inciting violence, it is about strengthening democracy.

Why can't you contain these people? Recently, there was a report that BJP president JP Nadda cautioned Union minister Giriraj Singh. Also, when Modi, before assuming office of prime minister for the second time, had in all seriousness gone to great lengths at the NDA parliamentary party meeting on the issue. His message to ruling coalition leaders was clear: One loose statement nullifies all good work done by the government.

The party takes the right decision at the right time. There is an inbuilt mechanism for such statements, whereby the party will review them and take appropriate action. There is a system of discipline in the party, which takes up such issues and takes appropriate action. I reiterate that party has a mechanism to deal with such things. The top party leadership has made it clear.

You are in-charge of Bihar. Is Nitish Kumar going to be NDA's face for the Bihar election?


Two things have happened recently: First, the Bihar Assembly last week passed two resolutions. One saying no to NRC and NPR only in the 2010 format and not in the revised current format. Second, it has demanded a caste-based Census in 2021, obviously with angled political purposes.

It's not like that. The prime minister has clarified on NRC. So far as NPR is concerned, all states are bound to implement it. A state can express its opinion, but it has to be implemented. A state can pass a resolution in the Assembly, but so far as lawmaking is concerned, there is a clear-cut constitutional provision on issues in the Central, state and concurrent lists. Parliament and Assembly have their own spheres. Bringing a resolution may be a political matter. Bihar has given its approval to implement NPR, but what you are saying about the resolution and 2010 NPR is their comment.

Further, a caste-based Census is not something the BJP ever opposed. The Census provides various columns, it is well-prescribed. The BJP has always supported reservation for weaker sections of society and it is the party that made constitutional provisions for the OBC commission. I don't think a caste-based Census is a bad thing.

What is your take on the NPR being the same for the entire country and that it can't be customised as per individual states' discretion, like Bihar is suggesting?

The constitutional process will be followed. This is an issue that rests with the (Central) government. This process is as per the mandate given by the Constitution of India. This is a long-established process.

Do you think the Modi government of 2019 is in a great hurry to push ideological issues? The first Modi government (of 2014) was more focussed on developmental issues, big innovative ideas to leave a lasting impact on society. Shouldn't CAA and some other issues have been spaced out instead of being introduced all at once?

It's not like that. The government has revised the Companies Act, government has brought Indian Penal Code amendments, an amendment in the mining law and so on. Along with that, it's a big achievement that Article 370 has been abolished, the Citizenship Act has been amended, laws has been brought to make a Rs five trillion economy a reality. Issues that we had mentioned in our manifesto have been fulfilled. Whatever we said in our manifesto for farmers, for health centres in rural areas, for abolition of Article 370 and for CAA have all been fulfilled. And biggest of all, the centuries-old Ayodhya issue has been amicably settled under the current Modi government.

March 03, 2020 at 10:19AM

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