Kolkata: Congress veteran P. Chidambaram on Saturday compared the powers to the Delhi police commissioner Amulya Patnaik to detain people under the National Security Act with the Rowlatt Act enforced by the British during its rule in India. He also termed the National Population Register (NPR) “NRC in disguise”.
“It is a retrograde provision. It is like the British promulgating the Rowlatt Act. What is the need for this act to notify in Delhi now? So that the people can be thrown into prison without charges! Everyday the BJP government at the Centre resorts to such repressive measures. It is driving a wedge between the government and the people..” Mr Chidambaram said at the Bidhan Bhavan in the city.
“It is also striking at democracy. This is completely unacceptable, unnecessary. The lieutenant-governor who promulgated this order presumably at the instance of the ministry of home affairs is completely wrong. It is an anti-people and anti-democratic measure. On the NPR, our position is that it is nothing but NRC. It is a disguised NRC,” he noted.
“There is no real difference between the NPR and the NRC because there was an widespread opposition to the NRC,” the Congress Rajya Sabha MP added after addressing a leadership training camp on CAA-NPR-NRC for the West Bengal Congress workers. Mr Chidambaram also reached out to West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee for her support to a united fight against the CAA.
Desperate to bring the Trinamul Congress supremo into the Congress-led Opposition fold for the anti-CAA movement, he not only tried to keep her in good humour but also pinned hope on her to join the camp in future.
“It does not imply that some parties, which did not attend the meet, support the CAA. They are also fighting against the CAA and NRC like us. I want all Opposition parties to realise the gravity of the issue at stake and come together on one platform. We are all fighting the same, sometimes together and sometimes differently. The important thing is that we all are fighting. All parties fighting against CAA, NRC and NPR must come together. I am confident they will,” he observed.
The former Union home minister who arrived Kolkata on Friday night also joined the anti-CAA-NRC-NPR protest venue at Park Circus Maidan. “I went there just to show solidarity. My presence was to demonstrate my solidarity with the protesting people. I was so proud to see so many women and children protesting at 11 pm,” he noted.