The Arvind Kejriwal government in Delhi is likely to pass a resolution on the National Population Register (NPR), during a day-long special session of the Assembly on March 13, that would describe it as a step towards the proposed countrywide National Register of Citizens (NRC).
It is learnt that the thrust of the resolution will be on the fact that the country’s poor and vulnerable do not maintain documents in a way that would enable them to come under the NRC net.
Sources privy to the drafting of the resolution said it is likely to focus on the widespread apprehension that NPR is a step towards the NRC. “Union ministers have made statements to this effect. Also, poor people in this country will suffer the most as they don’t maintain documents. (The resolution is) likely to question additional queries pertaining to place of birth, etc. It will ask the Delhi government to not hold NPR as the atmosphere is not conducive,” said a source.
Within the AAP, there are voices in favour of drafting a resolution about reverting to NPR’s 2010 format. They point out this would be a clear stand against the modified questionnaire which requires an individual to also share the place of birth of their parents, among other things.
However, another section feels that a more clear stand needs to be taken to allay the anxieties of the general public, especially the minorities. Various pockets of Delhi have been witnessing protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act, NRC and NPR since December last year.
Amit Shah on NPR: No one to be marked D (doubtful)… telling you as Home Minister
The assembly secretariat had not received a copy of the resolution till Thursday evening.
In Delhi, the NPR updation exercise is supposed to begin on April 1 in the NDMC areas with the house-listing phase of Census 2021. Sources said the Delhi government’s resolution should ideally be sent to the Assembly Secretary at least seven days in advance. However, under Rule 90, the Speaker can allow shorter notice periods.
In the 2018-19 Annual Report of the Home Ministry, the NPR was described as the first step towards implementation of the NRC. Union Minister of State (Home) Kiren Rijiu had also made a similar assertion in the Rajya Sabha in 2014, while Union Home Minister Amit Shah had indicated the same in Parliament.
Apart from NPR, the session will also discuss NRC, CAA and the status of coronavirus in the city. The AAP had voted against the citizenship law amendments in both houses of Parliament.
The NPR, data for which was first collected in 2010 and updated in 2015, is a list of “usual residents of the country”. According to the Home Ministry, a usual resident of the country is one who has been residing in a local area for at least the last six months or intends to stay in a particular location for the next six months.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines