The constrained relation between alliance partners BJP and the JDU in Bihar faced another setback on Sunday after the party’s national general secretary Pavan Varma wrote to chief minister Nitish Kumar against the “unilateral announcement” by deputy CM Sushil Modi that the National Population Register (NPR) will be put into effect in Bihar in May 2020.
National Party President and former diplomat Pavan Varma stated that the CAA, NPR, NRC scheme was divisive.
I have written to Shri Nitish Kumar today against the unilateral announcement by Deputy CM Sushil Modi that NPR will be implemented in Bihar in May 2020. Have requested Nitish ji to categorically reject the CAA-NPR-NRC divisive scheme. pic.twitter.com/FRpiAKYdap— Pavan K. Varma (@PavanK_Varma) January 5, 2020
“The CAA-NRC combine is a direct attempt to divide Hindus and Muslims, and to create social instability. Besides, it will impose great hardships on Indians as a whole, including especially the poor, the marginalized and the vulnerable belonging to all communities,” Varma wrote in his letter.
“I am greatly surprised that Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi has unilaterally announced that the NPR will be carried out in Bihar between May 15 and May 28 2020. As you are aware, the government has categorically stated that the NPR is the first step to implementing the NRC. Since you have said that Bihar will not have the NRC, it follows that you must say no to the revised NPR as well.”
Earlier, Sushil Modi put forth that Bihar will launch a data collection drive for the NRP on May 15 and the exercise will end on May 28.
Even before Varma flagged Modi’s announcement, another JDU spokesperson Rajiv Ranjan had stated that the party does not have any issue with the NPR exercise in Bihar.
“All states have given their consent for NPR after its gazette notification in August. Bihar is one of them. Moreover when Union Home Minister Amit Shah has stated that NPR data won’t be used for the National Register of Citizens (NRC), the JD (U) doesn’t have any problem,” said Ranjan.
The tie-up between the BJP and the JDU has been highly strung for some time now. While both parties have been trying their best to display a united front, the gap showed up once again on 25th December, a day subsequent to Jharkhand poll results which the BJP lost.
A few BJP leaders had once demanded a change in face for the NDA in Bihar ahead of the assembly polls later this year.