Stop NPR: Opposition’s Message To Chief Ministers Against Citizens’ List

The 20 opposition parties that met in Delhi today decided that all Chief Ministers who refuse to implement the National Register of Citizens in their states must suspend the process of National Population Register, which would be the foundation of the citizens’ list.
The NPR has already been put on hold in Bengal and Kerala. The Chief Ministers of the Congress-ruled states have also declared that they would not implement it.
So a resolution signed in this regard today was seen as a challenge of sorts to BJP allies like Nitish Kumar and Chief Ministers like Naveen Patnaik of Odisha and YS Jagan Mohan Reddy of Andhra Pradesh, who prefer to keep equal distance from the Congress and the BJP.
The National Population Register, work on which is yet to start in a big way, was expected to lay the groundwork for rolling out a National Register of Citizens in future to weed out illegal migrants from the country.
The NRC, the government said, was meant to flush out foreigners from the country. Critics said it was skewed against the Muslims. Following the rash of protests against the NRC and contentious citizens’ list, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said there is no talk of countrywide NRC as of now.
Last month, along with chief ministers of opposition ruled states, Mr Patnaik and Mr Reddy declared that they would not allow the implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens. But no concrete step regarding the National Population Register has been taken.
Nitish Kumar, who reversed his party’s stand on the citizenship law ahead and helped it pass in parliament, made his stand on NRC clear today after many nudges from his party’s senior leaders.
There was “no question” of or need to implement the NRC in Bihar, Nitish Kumar said in assembly today.
Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee stopped work on it last month through a formal order and said if the BJP wishes to implement NRC in Bengal, it can happen “over my dead body”.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan not only stopped work on the NPR, but in a letter to 11 Chief Ministers, asked them to take similar measures as well.