Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday said his government will form a committee of senior ministers from the three alliance partners — Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress — to check whether there are any “unnecessary and problematic issues” in the exercise to update the National Population Register (NPR). He also said he expressed his stand on CAA and NPR after holding discussions with the Congress.
“On the surface, there seems to be no problems in NPR. But, we will set up a committee of senior ministers from the three parties. We need to check whether there are any unnecessary and problematic issues in NPR. If there are any problematic issues, it should come before people,” Thackeray said in response to a question on the BJP congratulating Thackeray on his stand on the CAA and NPR.
Thackeray’s statement comes against the backdrop of a discord in Maharashtra’s ruling coalition over the exercise to update NPR. During his visit to Delhi last week when he met Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Thackeray had voiced his support for the NPR which has not gone down well with the Congress and NCP.
Thackeray’s statement on Sunday came after his meeting with NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Saturday. During the hour-long meeting, it was decided that leaders from the three parties would sit together to discuss the differences over the NPR issue. It was decided that the questionnaire shared by the Centre will first be discussed between the allies, and objections raised, if any, would be conveyed to the Centre.
Thackeray reiterated this during the press conference on Sunday on the eve of the Budget Session of the state legislature.
Asked about the Opposition’s position that the state doesn’t have the right to frame the questions in NPR, Thackeray said, “How to live is the right of the people of this country.”
The Chief Minister further said that the Congress does not have a different stand on the CAA and NPR and that he expressed his stand after discussions with the party. “I don’t think they (Congress) have a different stand on it. Our discussions are going on smoothly. We have discussed the CAA and NPR. After the discussions with the Congress, I expressed our stand on it,” said Thackeray.
Responding to the Opposition’s criticism about the state’s law and order situation, he said, no riots or attacks have taken place in the state. “But, riots have taken place in BJP- ruled states like Uttar Pradesh. In Delhi, where the Home Ministry is with Union government, protests like Shaheen Bagh have been going on for over 60 days. What is terrible is that ‘terrorists’ went inside JNU and attacked students. I haven’t heard about any action taken against the culprits.”
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