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‘Bihar NPR from May 15′, says Sushil Modi; JD(U) says, ‘no problem’

Meanwhile, the Union Cabinet has approved Rs 8,500 crore for updating the National Population Register (NPR), which is said to be the first step in implementing the National Register of Citizens (NRC).

SNS | New Delhi |

As the protest over contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) haven’t stopped yet and the ongoing debate over National Population Register (NPR) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) is heating up day–by-day, Bihar’s Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi has said the updation process of the NPR will be carried out in the state from May 15 to May 28 this year, notwithstanding the West Bengal and Kerala governments’ decision to put the exercise on hold in their respective states.

‘Indian Express’ in its report said that the Janata Dal (U), BJP’s coalition partner in the state has said that now that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already given a clarification that till now “there is no proposal to implement NRC across the country; there was no problem in going ahead with the NPR exercise.”

Although, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar on December 20, 2019, declared not to implement the NRC in the state. The move was described as an attempt to calm down the growing anger of the Muslim community in the state who has been on the streets against the centre’s move.

“Kahe ka NRC? Kyon lagu hoga NRC (Why the NRC will be implemented in Bihar)?” shot back Nitish when asked by newsmen for his comment on Centre’s plan to roll out the NRC. Barely a day back, the chief minister had asked Muslims not to worry, saying he holds the “guarantee” for their protection and support. “There is nothing to worry for minority community people till I am in power. I guarantee all protection and support to them,” the chief minister said in a function in Gaya on December 19, 2019.

Deputy CM Modi also said administrative and punitive action would be taken against officials if they refuse to carry out the NPR.

While talking to reporters, Sushil Modi said, “The NPR process in 2020 will be carried out between April 1 to September 30 in the country. In Bihar it will be done between May 15 and May 28, 2020.”

The process of preparing NPR began in 2010 during the UPA regime which was completed between April 1 to September 30 that year, he said.
The Centre is “updating” the NPR 2010 in 2020 just before the 2021 census, Bihar Deputy chief minister said.

According to Modi, “NPR and NRC are two different things”
H

e also dared West Bengal and Kerala Chief Ministers, Mamata Banerjee and P Vijayan respectively not to implement the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the NPR if they can.

“No state including West Bengal, Kerala, Rajasthan can refuse to implement the CAA or NPR as the Centre has the power to bring legislation over citizenship. Preparing NPR is a statutory provision which no state can refuse to implement,” Sushil Modi added.

West Bengal and Kerala are the only two states which have stopped the NPR procedures since they believe it is the first step for the contentious NRC.

Kerala Assembly on December 31, 2019 passed a resolution demanding the withdrawal of the Citizenship Amendment Act.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had moved a resolution against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in state Assembly, demanding the withdrawal of the contentious act.

While presenting the resolution, Vijayan said the CAA was against the “secular” outlook and fabric of the country and would lead to religion-based discrimination in granting citizenship.

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee has time and again reiterated that she will not allow National Population Register (NPR) work by central government. There will be no NRC in Bengal, she claimed. “I will not stop my protest movement unless the Centre withdraws the CAA. You just ensure that your name is there in the voter’s list, the state government will take care of the rest. BJP is trying to take away the legal citizenship right of the people and at this juncture I urge all political parties, civil society and common people to isolate them everywhere throughout the country.”

While, the Congress has accused the BJP government of bringing the NRC in the garb of the NPR and claimed that questions related to the NRC will be asked in the pre-test forms for the NPR.

States of West Bengal, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Delhi, Punjab, Chhattisgarh have announced that they will not implement either the National Register of Citizens (NRC) or the Citizenship Amendment Act.

Meanwhile, the Union Cabinet has approved Rs 8,500 crore for updating the National Population Register (NPR), which is said to be the first step in implementing the National Register of Citizens (NRC).