Numbering of houses begins in Madhya Pradesh

State is yet to inform census officials of its resolve to disallow update

Census officials are numbering houses in Madhya Pradesh while preparing for house-listing, along which the update of the National Population Register (NPR) will be undertaken from May. The State government is yet to inform them of its resolve to disallow the update.

“We are yet to receive an official communication from the State government on the Chief Minister’s remarks against the update,” said a census official, requesting anonymity. “So we are continuing preparations for the enumeration as per the schedule.”

Heeding a January 3 order of the State census office to undertake the update and house-listing in 45 days in the first phase of Census 2021, district authorities have deployed officials to number houses and list them at the ward-level, along with the names of owners.

For instance, the Ratlam district administration on February 11 said in an order that houses “are to be numbered” as per the “Corporation Ward Limitation, 2014”. On each house, the census number and the ward number will be marked. Moreover, a ward-level list will be prepared with the names of owners and the house numbers.

On February 17, Chief Minister Kamal Nath said the NPR would not be implemented in the State “at present”, attempting to quell fear over a December 9 notification of his government scheduling the exercise. But the government is yet to pass an official order.

“The notification being talked about was issued on December 9,” he was quoted as saying in a note issued by his office. “After this, the Centre implemented the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. Therefore, the NPR notification has not been issued under the CAA, 2019.” Earlier, the State Cabinet passed a resolution calling upon the Centre to abrogate the law, and begin the update only after withdrawing the proposal to add new questions.

Law Minister P.C. Sharma told The Hindu that Mr. Nath’s announcement should be taken as an “official communication” by census officials. “We have an unambiguous and unconditional stand on the NPR. We will not implement it at any cost, and Mr. Nath has made that clear.”

In case the census was preparing for the update exercise, he said, the State government would look into it, and ask it to “stop the process”.

Congress media chief in the State Shobha Oza said, “Any decision of the BJP government at the Centre with a hidden agenda, we’ll not implement it.”

“The Congress doesn’t oppose the NPR per se. In fact, we introduced it in 2010,” she said. “But the present government is playing foul by planning to combine the NPR, the CAA and the National Register of Citizens.”

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Printable version | Apr 8, 2020 5:47:36 AM |

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