Chidambaram says residency, not citizenship basis of 2010 NPR

'Will Mr Modi hold another ‘Namaste Trump!’ rally to honour his dear friend?' Chidambaram asked in a dig at Modi. Photo: PTI File

Congress leader P Chidambaram on Thursday (December 26) attacked the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government after its leader Amit Malviya put out an old video on Twitter saying the Congress launched the National Population Register (NPR).

Reacting to the video, the senior Congress leader said the NPR was introduced in 2010 for ‘residency’ and not for ‘citizenship.’

“I am happy that the BJP has released a video clip of the launch of NPR in 2010,” Chidambaram tweeted. “Please listen to the video. We were enumerating the ‘usual residents’ of the country. The emphasis is on residency not citizenship.

“Every usual resident was to be enumerated irrespective of his or her religion or place of birth. The NPR aided the preparation of the Census of 2011. There was no mention of National Register of Citizens (NRC),” the former finance minister added.

Chidambaram also said the BJP had a much larger and more sinister agenda. “The BJP-led government has a larger and more sinister agenda and that is why the NPR approved by them yesterday is very dangerous and different in terms of the TEXT as well as the CONTEXT of NPR 2010.”

“If the BJP’s motives are bonafide, let the government unconditionally state that they support the NPR form and design of 2010 and have no intention of linking it to the controversial NRC,” Chidambaram concluded.

Reacting to Chidambaram’s accusation, BJP’s Amit Malviya posted another video. “Mr Chidambaram, Your memory seems to be failing you. Let me help you a bit here…,” Amit Malviya tweeted.

In the video, Chidambaram is heard saying that NPR process is for the purpose of issuing a residents’ card, which eventually will lead to a citizenship card.

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