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Ramakanta Biswas

Bhubaneswar: Amid raging protests over Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) across the country with fresh flames reaching Odisha, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday made it clear that his party does not support the NRC. He however clarified that Indian citizens need not panic over the CAA as it deals only with foreigners.

Speaking to mediapersons, Patnaik said, “The BJD MPs both in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha have made it clear that we do not support the NRC.”

He also appealed to the citizens to maintain peace and not indulge in rumour-mongering.

"The Citizenship (Amendment) Act has nothing to do with Indian citizens. It only deals with foreigners. I would appeal to our citizens to let peace prevail and not indulge in rumour-mongering,” the CM said.

Expressing opinion on CM's statement, senior journalist Prasanna Mohanty said, “Over the last couple of years, the BJD has been extending open support to different disputed bills and policies of the NDA-led Centre. This is for the first time that the CM has directly said no to a bill and sent a clear message that the NRC will not be implemented in Odisha.”

Senior BJP leader Prithviraj Harichandan said, “At a time when some sections of people are protesting CAA after misinterpreting it, it is very unfortunate that the CM is making such a statement. Because, there is need of NRC in the country to stop intruders from entering into the country and CM is aware of this. However, he always indulges in vote-bank politics.”

Responding to the CM's statement, OPCC Chief Niranjan Patnaik said, "Naveen Patnaik has held the CM post for last 20 years. For how many days more will he continue hoodwinking people? The CM is saying that people of Odisha will not be affected, shows his double standards."

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