As officials meet on implementation, Minister says further discussions needed on roll out
The Maharashtra government on Saturday clarified that it will not roll out the National Population Register (NPR) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) until a consensus is arrived at among the citizens of the State.
As thousands of people gathered at the Azad Maidan to protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), NRC and NPR, the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government clarified that further discussions were pending on the decision to roll out the process from May 1 — the deadline set by the Centre for States to implement the twin processes.
The clarification came amidst reports that State government officials, including several district collectors and municipal commissioners, had participated in a seminar on the modalities of rolling out the NPR. The meeting with the Director, Census, Rashmi Zagde and Principal Secretary, General Administration Department (GAD), Valsa Nair, was held at the Sahyadri Guest House.
Reacting to the reports, Maharashtra Minister Jitendra Awhad said Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had informed him that more discussions were likely on the issue before a final call on implementation is taken.
“Had a discussion with Chief Minister of Maharashtra Mr Uddhav Thackeray and it was decided that a discussion would be held for the benefit of the citizens by discussing all matters related to NPR and NRC. However, nothing [of] such sort of survey will happen in Maharashtra. The Chief Minister has already ensured that there will be no discrimination on the basis of religions, caste and creed in progressive Maharashtra,” he said.
Legal stand unclear
The MVA coalition partners have said the State will not roll out the NPR unless a consensus is arrived at. However, the State has not clarified its legal position on whether it wants to challenge the Centre’s gazette notification.
Earlier, this month Home Minister Anil Deshmukh had informed a delegation of Muslims that his party, the NCP, was taking legal advice on preventing the NPR roll out in the state.
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