No NPR in the state but census will continue, says Kerala government
Earlier, the state assembly had passed a resolution urging the Union government to withdraw CAA immediately.
As the spat between Kerala Governor Arif Mohamad Khan and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan continues over the Citizenship Amendment Act or CAA, the state government on Monday made it clear that it will not implement the National Population Register (NPR) but it will co-operate with the census operations.
The state cabinet has decided to inform the Census Registrar General about the decision of the government. The Kerala general administration department had last week directed all officials to ensure that NPR was not mentioned while sending any communication on Census 2021.
“We will inform the census directorate that certain questions which will go for the preparation of the NPR will not be done here,” said Local Administration Minister A C Moideen. The state government will ask enumerators to exclude two questions - date of birth of respondents and details of their parents - from census questionnaire.
“A sense of fear has gripped people. It is the duty of the government to help people to come out of this fear and also maintain law and order in the state. If the NPR and National Register of Citizens are implemented it will vitiate the atmosphere. That is why the state government took this decision,” said the official release issued by the chief minister’s office. It also said the NPR will pave way for the implementation of the NRC which sparked widespread protests across the country.
“The state police chief has also given a report that the implementation of the NPR will vitiate the prevailing atmosphere in the state. District collectors have also informed the government that it was difficult to carry out census procedure if it was mixed with the NPR,” said the government statement.
Earlier, the state assembly had passed a resolution urging the Union government to withdraw CAA immediately. Kerala was the first state to pass a resolution and first to move the Supreme Court against the CAA. In the suit in the state government said the CAA violated the basic principles of secularism enshrined in the Constitution. Later, Governor Arif had openly criticised the resolution saying it was unconstitutional and had no legal validity. He had also sought a report from the chief secretary over the government’s move to file a suit in Supreme Court without informing him.
The two-day CPI(M) central committee meet which concluded in the state capital on Sunday had lauded the state government’s initiatives against the CAA. It also decided to launch a nationwide door-to door campaign explaining the link between NPR and the National Register of Citizens.