Rajat Sharma

Why Amit Shah said, NPR has nothing to do with NRC

akb1709The Union Cabinet on Tuesday decided to initiate the process for preparing National Population Register, which is considered a prelude to 2021 Census which is now due. Home Minister Amit Shah in an interview clarified that the NPR process has nothing to do with National Register of Citizens (NRC).

Amit Shah sought to remove confusions that have been created in the minds of people. He said, NPR is only part of the process of Census that is carried out every 10 years. Asked whether the Centre would use the information collected during NPR for NRC, Shah said that there was a different law for carrying out census, which has nothing to do with citizenship law. He said, there would be a different law for NRC.

The Home Minister explained that the NPR will be prepared to enable the government to formulate different schemes for the poor and under privileged. He pointed out that the process for NPR had been initiated during the Congress-led UPA rule. He said, he would personally speak to the chief ministers of West Bengal and Kerala, who have opposed NPR.

Asked whether initiating the NPR process was a right step in view of nationwide protests against NRC, Shah said, the process had already begun and the notification has already been issued on July 31 this year. He said, all the state governments have already given their consent for NPR, and if it would have been delayed, the census work in 2021 would have lagged behind, because door-to-door mapping exercise will have to begin from April, 2020.

Amit Shah clarified that the NPR process was a Constitutional requirement and it was not part of BJP’s political agenda. Throughout his interview, the Home Minister refrained from making remarks against opposition parties. This is a welcome step. Let us hope that political parties and anti-CAA and anti-NRC activists will understand this and cooperate in carrying out the NPR process.

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