Kolkata: After the union cabinet approved Rs 3,941.35 crore for updating the NPR on Tuesday, the Trinamool Congress said that BJP is trying to “fool and cheat” the people of the country as the population register is the “first step towards NRC”.
The NPR is a list of “usual residents” of the country. A “usual resident” is defined as a person who has resided in a local area for the past six months or more or a person who intends to reside in that area for the next six months or more.
The data for NPR was collected in 2010 along with the house-listing phase of Census of India 2011. “BJP is cheating the people. The cabinet decision on NPR has been taken and funds approved. NPR (National Population Register) is the first step of the NRC (National Register of Citizens),” O’Brien, who is the TMC Rajya Sabha parliamentary party leader, said.
Elaborating, he said BJP is cheating the people as NPR will be carried out alongside the census. This will confuse the innocent people who will think it is the census and not the first step of the NRC. To buttress his point, O’Brien said that the government had in a written reply in Parliament in 2014 said that the NPR by verifying the citizenship status of every usual resident is the first step towards creation of National Register of Indian Citizens.
The Trinamool Congress, which has been at the forefront of protests against the proposed NRC and the newly amended citizenship law, has already stayed the process of updation of NPR in West Bengal.
Meanwhile, AICC general secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad also said that BJP is trying to divert peoples’ attention from real issues by introducing laws like Citizenship (Amendment) Act and proposing to implement nationwide NRC.
“The BJP promised to bring back black money, deposit of Rs 15 lakh in the peoples’ accounts, create 10 crore jobs in five years and control prices. But we are seeing the opposite in every sphere….Then suddenly this Act comes in. It was not needed. Also, you (BJP) announced to make NRC across India. Assam and North East are completely different from the rest of India,” he said.