'NPR was good when UPA brought it, became bad when we repeat it'
New Delhi: Amid opposition by some states, Union minister Prakash Javadekar on Wednesday hit out at parties questioning the National Population Register saying it was welcomed in the past when the then Congress-led government introduced it but is being dubbed as "bad" when the NDA regime is repeating it.
He also said the provision of "naturalisation" to grant Indian citizenship to foreign nationals in the principal Citizenship Act of 1955 still remains and Pakistani singer Adnan Sami became an Indian citizen due to that.
"That provision (of naturalisation) still remains. The Citizenship Amendment Act takes note of persecuted minorities in three countries (Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan) who came to India seeking justice ... the amendment is about giving citizenship and not taking it," Javadekar said at a briefing of the decisions taken by the Union Cabinet.
Kerala and West Bengal are some of the states who have opposed the NPR exercise.
Responding to a question on the issue, Javadekar said, "Those who are opposed to the Citizenship Amendment Act made have their own views, but the Supreme Court decided not to give it (CAA) any stay," he said.
Responding to questions on the NPR, he said giving date of birth or place of birth of parents is optional in the exercise. "If you don't have it or don't remember, don't give it ... many questions are optional," he said.
Referring to the origin of the NPR, he pointed out that it was introduced by the Congress-led UPA government in 2010. "Then you all welcomed it. They bring it, it is good. When we bring, it is bad. This cannot be the case. This is not fair," he said.