Congress Rajya Sabha MP and former Union Home Minister P Chidambaram presided over a ‘leadership training workshop’ on Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Kolkata on Saturday. 

The ‘workshop’ held for Congress workers in Kolkata was conducted at the West Bengal Pradesh Congress Bhawan or ‘Bidhan Bhawan’ and saw an array of senior leaders including Somen Mitra, BP Singh and Bengal in charge Gaurav Gogoi.

“The Congress party’s position on CAA and NRC is well known. We had a Congress working Committee meeting last week. Our position is that the CAA is discriminatory and divisive. Must be taken back and scraped,” the veteran Congress leader said.

Terming the National Population Register (NPR) nothing but a disguised form of the NRC, Chidambaram said, “NPR is nothing but NRC, it is disguised NRC. As there was widespread opposition to NRC, the Modi government switched it to NPR. We won’t let it roll out in April 2020.”

The former finance minister stated that seminars will be conducted throughout the state to explain the implications of CAA and NPR.

“Congress will take this forward in all parts of the state and explain the mischief behind NPR,” said Chidambaram.

Explaining the reason behind Congress-ruled states attending the Central Government’s meet on NPR, he said that officers of various state governments will attend the meeting to what the Centre has to say on NPR and then oppose it. “Officials of state governments come back to tell the Chief Minister about the drawbacks. Participation doesn’t mean acceptance.”

Earlier this month, an opposition meet called by Congress president Sonia Gandhi on the January 13 saw participation from various parties but was skipped by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. 

Banerjee-led TMC has been campaigning against the CAA-NRC but her party’s absence at the meeting raised questions on the unity of opposition ranks.

“We are fighting against the NPR and the CAA. Sometimes we fight together, sometimes separately. We are working with Left parties as well. What matters is that we are fighting against it. 20 parties attended the meeting, some didn’t. What is important is that we are fighting,” said Chidambaram.

“I want all opposition parties to realize the gravity of the issue at stake and come together on one platform,” he said, hinting that all parties opposed to the new citizenship law should come together.

Courtesy : DNA

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