Speaking at an event in Darbhanga district of the state, Kumar assured minority communities that he will not allow any injustice to be meted out to them.
Bihar Chief Minister and Janata Dal (United) president Nitish Kumar on Monday said that the National Population Register (NPR), which will be carried out in the state between May 15 and 28, must stick to its format of 2010 when the exercise was last conducted. Speaking at an event in Darbhanga district of the state, Kumar assured minority communities that he will not allow any injustice to be meted out to them.
“No injustice will be meted out to any section of society. I will not allow any injustice to minority communities till I am there. As far as NRC (National Register of Citizens) is concerned, nothing is going to happen. Secondly, NPR should be conducted on the same lines as it was done in 2010. There should be no digression. I have maintained this all along. Everyone should live in harmony. Only then will society move forward and everyone will progress,” Kumar said on Sunday while addressing a gathering at an event organised by the state’s minority welfare department in Darbhanga.
The remarks by the chief minister assume significance amid claims that the NPR this time around may have some additional questions, including date and place of birth of parents, and last residential address of the applicant. The said inclusion of these additional details has sparked concerns over the NPR leading up to a nationwide National Register of Citizens.
According to The Indian Express, Bihar Deputy Chief Minister and BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi had on January 4 referred to the “three additional questions in the new NPR” while announcing the implementation of the exercise in Bihar.
Kumar’s comments on Sunday is the second occasion in recent months when he has said that the NPR must stick to the 2010 format. In a letter to the Registrar General of India dated February 5, Bihar’s Land and Revenue Department Additional Chief Secretary Vivek Kumar Singh stated that the central government had not notified details of questions and information for preparation of NPR and also requested the Centre to add a column for transgenders in the new format.
In January, the Deputy CM had brushed aside speculations around the NPR and said that fresh information and new questions are added in every Census exercise. Modi further sought to dispel concerns around the additional questions by saying that answering these questions was not mandatory.
The NPR implementation was notified by the Bihar government in the official gazette dated December 17, 2019.