Following the footsteps of West Bengal , the Kerala Government has decided to put on hold all proceedings for updating the National Population Register (NPR).
The Government decision comes after The Hindu broke the news of updating of the register on Friday .
The State Government has in principle decided to put on hold all activities related to the NPR.
The decision comes in the wake of apprehension that updating the NPR would eventually lead to the preparation of the National Register of Citizens (NRC).
A Government notification stalling all NPR proceedings was issued on Friday, highly placed sources confirmed.
The West Bengal Government had stayed all proceedings regarding the NPR early this week.
Those opposing the NPR had criticised that it was the first step towards the NRC.
The Government’s green signal for updating the NPR in Kerala, which has vehemently opposed the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and the NRC, has come as surprise for many, especially when the Left Democratic Front had joined hands with the United Democratic Front to stage a united protest in the State capital against the CAA and the NRC.
The UDF leaders, led by Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala, had joined Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan at the protest meeting.
Incidentally, the Principal Secretary (General Administration Department), Kerala, had also republished a notification issued by the Registrar General and the Census Commissioner of India regarding the updating of the NPR in connection with the 2021 Census.
After The Hindu reported the process for updating the NPR, Mr. Chennithala criticised the Government for what he termed “double standards” on the sensitive issue. The Government order for taking forward the NPR amounted to cheating the people of the State. The State Government should stop all activities related to the NPR, which was scheduled to be updated between April and May next year, said Mr. Chennithala in a statement.
The Kerala unit of the Youth Congress also condemned the stance of the Chief Minister on the NPR.
The Chief Minister’s Office has clarified that the Kerala Government will not cooperate in any manner with the proceedings to update the National Population Register (NPR), which will become the base for the National Register of Citizens (NCR), in view of the concerns that have been raised after the passing of the Citizenship Amendment Act 2019.
In a statement issued in Thiruvananthapuram on Friday, the CMO said that the Government had taken this step as the Act deviated from constitutional values and was under the consideration of the Supreme Court.