Bihar’s Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi on Saturday announced that the first phase of the NPR in Bihar will start between May 15 and May 28, reports News18.
“The NPR process in 2020 will be carried out between April 1 and September 30 in the country. In Bihar it will be done between May 15 and May 28, 2020,” said Deputy CM Sushil Modi, adding that officials who refused to carry it out will face administrative and punitive action.
Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi: A decision has been taken to update the National Population Register (NPR) in 2020. Regarding this process, collection of data will be carried out from 15 to 28 May in Bihar. (4.1.20) pic.twitter.com/wxY1t0wLr6
— ANI (@ANI) January 5, 2020
In his press conference, Modi also hit out at Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her Kerala counterpart Pinarayi Vijayan for opposing the NPR, the NRC and CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act).
“No chief ministers, even if he/she is opposed to CAA and NPR, can refuse to implement them. Neither West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee nor Kerala CM P Vijayan can say that they won’t implement NPR in their states. They can say anything for public consumption. But they can’t say no to CAA and NPR. A census director in each state has already been appointed, including in West Bengal,” he said.
Blaming the opposition Congress and RJD for creating confusion, Modi said, “NPR and NRC are two different things. No state, including West Bengal, Kerala or Rajasthan, can refuse to implement CAA or NPR as the centre has the power to bring legislation over citizenship. Preparing NPR is a statutory provision which no state can refuse to implement”.
At the beginning of the press meet, Sushil Modi also played an audio-video clip of former Union Home Minister P Chidambaram speaking in favour of NPR whose purpose is to issue resident cards which eventually will lead to citizenship cards.
The deputy chief minister expressed satisfaction that there has been no incident of major violence as people, especially Muslims, have understood that the CAA is not meant to take away anyone’s citizenship.
Meanwhile, reacting to BJP leader’s comment, senior JDU leader Shyam Razak claimed that he was unaware of any such decision on implementation of NPR and said Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was the right and “competent person” to make such announcements. He said Deputy CM Modi may have made this statement in his “personal capacity”.
Reportedly, the JDU, the alliance partner of the BJP in Bihar’s ruling coalition, had earlier said that since Prime Minister Narendra Modi had clarified that there is no proposal to implement the National Register of Citizens (NRC) across the country, there was no problem in going ahead with the NPR exercise.
Last month the Union Cabinet had approved a proposal to update the NPR (National Population Register) that will be conducted nationwide except in Assam, where the NRC was conducted last year.