The Tamil Nadu government has “put on hold” works towards updating the National Population Register (NPR) in the State, pending certain clarifications from the Centre.
“So far, the notification for updating of the NPR has not been issued. We will take it up only after we receive clarification from the Centre. Until then, NPR updation has been put on hold,” Revenue Minister R.B. Udhayakumar told journalists in Chennai on March 12 evening.
The State government has sought clarifications from the Centre over three specific questions pertaining to the mother tongue, details of the parents and spouse of the resident during enumeration.
“Since the clarifications sought for have not been received as yet, works on updating of the NPR have not commenced,” he said, and pointed out that the notification issued in the State was only for conducting Census and not for NPR.
As for the claim of the DMK that residents have to produce documents to support their details during the enumeration, Mr. Udhayakumar reiterated that no documents were required to be submitted.
The NPR was not applicable to any specific religion, he pointed out and said the State government was taking steps so that the NPR could be updated as Muslims wished.
Mr. Udhayakumar said Muslims should not fall prey to the “instigation and conspiracy” of the DMK and added, “100%, the AIADMK government will stand with the minorities”.
To a query, the Minister said the State government has conveyed the apprehensions of the minorities to the Centre and “only in the hope that the Centre would take steps accordingly” the works towards NPR updation have not commenced.
As for the absence of festivals celebrated by Muslims in the NPR manual, Mr. Udhayakumar said the manual was just the same as it was followed in 2010. “As for Muslim festivals, since there are no fixed dates but depend on the sighting of crescent, those festivals were not mentioned. They could have objected then . In 2020 too, the same manual is to be followed.”
Asked why a resolution could not be passed against the legislation when several other States could do so, Mr. Udhayakumar pointed out that some States that passed the resolution have issued notifications.
Replying to a query on DMK president M.K. Stalin’s claim that the AIADMK government was hesitant to pass a resolution opposing the Citizenship Amendment Act , the NPR and the National Register of Citizens in the Assembly fearing imprisonment, Mr. Udhayakumar said it was a sensitive issue and had to be dealt with carefully, while other parties were playing politics over the issue.
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