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NPR: Government allays fears, to tweak NPR form | India News


NEW DELHI: Acknowledging the apprehensions of NDA allies regarding some new fields introduced in the National Population Register (NPR) questionnaire, the government has offered to tweak the NPR form to include a disclaimer that not replying to questions relating to date and place of birth of parents shall not impact the respondents’ citizenship status or put them in the ‘doubtful’ list.

Sources said at the NDA meeting on Friday, allies like JD(U), LJP and Akali Dal flagged the apprehension among certain sections about the new NPR form, leading home minister Amit Shah to state that while dropping columns from the form may not be feasible at this stage, a disclaimer that providing date and place of birth of parents will be optional could be inserted. “The government has already made it clear that it won’t be mandatory for respondents to share these details and that there is no need to produce any documents,” a source said.

The meeting also saw PM Narendra Modi striking a forceful note on CAA and saying that NDA members need not be defensive about it even as he assured Muslims that they should not worry about any infringement of rights which were safe. “The PM assured all that every citizen from minority communities, including Muslims, have as much rights as he has. He said the Constitution is supreme and there is no room for discrimination among citizens,” LJP patriarch Ram Vilas Paswan told TOI.

Other leaders also said the PM urged them to fully support the CAA and back it strongly in Parliament. Sources said Akali Dal, which had demanded that Muslims from Pakistan should also be brought under CAA’s purview, too said that it was strongly with the decision, even though the party has its own ideology.

The NPR exercise is scheduled between April and September. While Paswan had hinted at changes in the NPR form while talking to reporters in Patna on Tuesday, JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar suggested the question could be left out, considering there was confusion among people that leaving the relevant columns blank may create trouble for them in future.

The government, meanwhile, is also considering allowing the NPR form to be filled online by around 60 crore residents whose Aadhaar details are available in the NPR database from 2010 and 2015.

The NDA allies passed five resolutions hailing the PM for the Bodo accord and settlement of Bru migrants in Tripura. The other resolutions passed were on nullifying Articles 370 and 35A and opening of Kartarpur corridor for Sikh pilgrims. The allies also hailed the government’s decision to give ownership rights to people living in over 1,300 unauthorised colonies in Delhi, which is expected to benefit nearly 40 lakh people.

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