The Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Karnataka State unit posted a video on Twitter on Saturday showing female Muslim voters displaying their voter Identity cards during the ongoing Delhi elections.
Taking a jibe at these voters in the video, the BJP said: “Keep the documents safe, you will need to show them again during #NPR exercise” in a reference to the National Population Register, a biometric database of ordinary residents of India.
BJP’s tweet came in response to a popular slogan, chanted by protesters demonstrating against the Indian government's policies of NPR, which would require people to produce proof of their citizenship, “Kaagaz Nahi Dikayenge Hum", meaning "We won’t show our documents".
The national party faced the ire of citizens after sharing the video with an objectionable post in the current sensitive environment where protests and demonstrations are currently ongoing against the government’s policy.
This is the exact reason why BJP will go for a nosedive , this unabashed show of disrespect and hatred towards a religion.— Zarafy (@Tontangbi) February 8, 2020
Don't make your hands the reason of your own destruction. The end of BJP is near. #BJP_Mukt_Bharat— Saimon Farooqui (@SaimonFarooqui) February 8, 2020
This time we live in, this behaviour. Know this. Some day, You're going to be a tragic paragraph in a history book, that many students are going to want to skip. That's going to be the document you're remembered by. Win as many elections as you like, this will be your legacy. https://t.co/mBTsiLCixO— Vir Das (@thevirdas) February 8, 2020
The NPR exercise, which was first carried out in 2010 under the Congress party-led coalition government, is being scrutinised by Indian opposition parties who are drawing a link between the NPR and National Register of Citizens (NRC) – a proposed nationwide exercise to identify genuine citizens of India and deport illegal immigrants.
Opposition parties have argued that the federal government has referred to the NPR as “laying the foundation of the NRC”. States such as West Bengal and Kerala have also passed resolutions to delay the exercise.
However, India’s Home Minister Amit Shah clarified on national television during an interview saying, “I am clearly stating this … NPR is a register of population, NRC is a register of citizens. There is no link between the two…”