In a volte-face on the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), Andhra Pradesh's ruling YSRCP on Tuesday said that it is against the discriminatory law and also opposed the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC).
The YSRCP, which had voted for the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) in the Parliament, has now said that it is against the legislation.
Deputy Chief Minister Amjad Basha said that the state government would not support CAA and NRC.
He claimed that Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has already made the party's stand clear. He said the people, especially the minorities, need not panic as the YSRCP was opposed to both CAA and NRC.
He told reporters that that minorities are feeling insecure and were staging protests. "Our government is for the welfare of the minorities and supports them. We already consulted various minority organisations and took their opinion," he said.
"According to the Indian Constitution, those unable to adjust in other countries during Partition have come and taken Indian citizenship, which is quite legal. Objecting to such people's citizenship after these many years is not a fair step," a statement by the YSRCP quoted the minister as saying.
The YSRCP, which has 22 MPs in the Lok Sabha, had voted for CAB but had sought amendments to include Muslims.
Interestingly, both the YSRCP and opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) had supported CAB. However, Telangana's ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) had voted against it.
Last month, it was announced that the Andhra Pradesh government was planning to carry out the exercise to update the National Population Register (NPR) between April and September this year.
"People are not required to submit any document to the enumerators during the NPR exercise. Enumerators are just required to record whatever answers are given by the people and not to press for any further answers to any query if they do not intend to give and also not to ask for any document," a Government Order stated.