Other States

Stand against NPR unchanged: M.P. govt.

A notification enabling NPR update issued before CAA was passed still in force

Madhya Pradesh Law Minister P.C. Sharma on Thursday reiterated the Congress government’s resolve against carrying out the National Population Register (NPR) update, even though the enumeration exercise in the State remains scheduled from May.

According a the State government notification dated December 9 and published in the gazette on December 13, a day after the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) received the President’s assent to come into force, the update of the NPR will be undertaken along with houselisting exercise from May 1 to June 14, 2020, a plan still in play.

Yet, Mr. Sharma told The Hindu, “We’ve not issued any fresh notification relating to the update. The Congress government’s stand against the CAA and the NPR remains unchanged.”

On February 5, the State Cabinet passed a resolution exhorting the Centre to abrogate the contentious law, and begin the NPR update only after withdrawing the plan to seek new information, in a bid to quell apprehensions.

Resolution against NPR

Earlier on January 11, the Congress Working Committee (CWC) had demanded the law be withdrawn, and the “process of NPR be stopped forthwith”, a resolution later adopted by Assemblies of Congress-led Rajasthan, Punjab and Puducherry.

Madhya Pradesh Congress media chief Shobha Oza said, “We stand by the Cabinet’s decision, and further steps will be taken based on it. We have apprised Chief Minister Kamal Nath of the earlier notification.” Meanwhile, officials of the Home Department refused to comment, stating it was a political matter.

Namit Yadav, Deputy Director, State Directorate of Census Operations, confirmed the dates for the houselisting exercise, along which the NPR update would be undertaken, were finalised after consultation with the State Home Department, which deploys staff for it.

As for the proposed new questions relating to the NPR, he said, “So far, we’ve not received any direction relating to any new set of questions to be asked during the update.”

According to the notification, in pursuance of sub-rule (4) of Rule 3 of the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003, the State government declared that “the field work for updation of the Population Register and for house-to-house enumeration for collection of information relating to all persons who are usually residing within the jurisdiction of Local Registrar shall be undertaken from 1st May 2020 to 14th June 2020 in the State of Madhya Pradesh.”

‘Review notification’

“In the light of the Central government’s political agenda to change the plurality of citizenship in India, the State government should review its earlier notification and issue a fresh one saying that they’ll either not implement the NPR or it should be restricted to the earlier questions,” said Madhuri Krishnaswamy, of the Madhya Pradesh Democratic Rights Front, which mobilises the State’s people against the law, the NPR, and the proposed NRC.

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Printable version | Apr 3, 2020 7:54:09 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/stand-against-npr-unchanged-mp-govt/article30814631.ece

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