The patriarch of key BJP ally Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) and Union Minister, Ram Vilas Paswan, on January 21 said the government may consider the widespread demand to remove the questions on date and place of birth of a respondent’s parents from the National Population Register.
“Even I don’t know the date of birth of my parents, forget about producing documents proving the dates,” Mr. Paswan told The Hindu .
He said the government would consider acceding to the demand and had repeatedly clarified that the production of documents would not be mandatory.
No MHA notification
So far, there is no official notification from the Ministry of Home Affairs, which is helming the exercise, on changes to the NPR form. The government has not yet notified the NPR form .
Various State governments have insisted that these two questions should be removed from the NPR form because a vast majority of respondents will not be able to produce any proof of date of birth and place of birth of their parents.
The NPR exercise by far, Mr. Paswan said, is similar to the Census, which happens at the turn of every decade.
“As far as the amended citizenship Act is concerned because of which there are widespread protests, I want to once again say that no government can revoke citizenship of a genuine Indian citizen, whether he is a Dalit or from the minority community,” Mr. Paswan added.
Even the amended Citizenship Act , Mr. Paswan said, didn’t stop a person from any religion from applying for Indian citizenship following the laid down procedure in the usual course.
‘No nationwide NRC’
On the National Register of Citizens (NRC), Mr. Paswan said there was no question of extending the exercise in Assam to the entire nation.
“When the Prime Minister of the country has already clarified that there has been no discussion or decision around implementing NRC across the nation, what is the point of having a debate on it,” he added.