This is the first time Mr. Palaniswami has made public his stand on the issue of NRC.
Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami on Tuesday said in the Assembly that he had told Union Home Minister Amit Shah that the National Register of Citizens (NRC) is not acceptable to the AIADMK government. At the same time, he had urged that dual citizenship should be granted to Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in Tamil Nadu, and Mr. Shah had promised “remedial measures”.
This is the first time Mr. Palaniswami has made public his stand on the issue of NRC. In the past, he had only stated that during his meeting with Mr. Shah in New Delhi last month, he pressed for granting dual citizenship to Sri Lankan Tamil refugees living in the State. He also endorsed the implementation of the National Population Register, saying that the exercise would be undertaken in the State from April.
Responding to an issue on the subject raised by DMK MLA Mathivanan, the Chief Minister said, “Mr. Shah also said that Sri Lankan Tamils had come as refugees and remedial measures would be taken [on examining dual citizenship] as requested. We are doing what the DMK has failed to do.”
The Chief Minister said though the DMK was part of the Centre for many years, it never thought about obtaining citizenship for Sri Lankan Tamils.
“People gave you 12 years to be part of the government at the Centre. You gave up your responsibility. Did you get citizenship for the Sri Lankan Tamils? As far as we are concerned, whether in power or not, we will not deviate from our ideology,” he said.
Mr. Palaniswami said the AIADMK government was extending all the benefits available to the people of Tamil Nadu to the Sri Lankan Tamils.
“The DMK government only implemented the welfare measures of the Centre,” he said, adding that AIADMK government would continue to press the Centre to grant dual citizenship to the Sri Lankan Tamils.
Pointing out that the Pongal gift would also be given to the Sri Lankan Tamils, the Chief Minister said scholarship would extended to Sri Lankan Tamils students, irrespective of the communities they had belonged to.
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