'No Documents Needed For NPR, Nobody Will Be Declared Doubtful': Amit Shah In Rajya Sabha
On Amit Shah's statement, Kapil Sibal said, "It is not correct that the Home Minister is saying the government will not be asking for these documents, what is the use of this exercise then?"
Home Minister Amit Shah said on March 12 that no document is needed to be submitted for the National Population Register (NPR) and no one would be declared "D" (doubtful) if they failed to produce such papers.
"No document needs to be submitted. You can give whatever information you have and leave the other questions blank," Amit Shah said in the Rajya Sabha.
Kapil Sibal, Congress leader, questioned whether "D" would be removed. The Home Minister replied, "Let me say, now that we are sitting face to face... support us now. I say it clearly: First, no document will be asked for NPR. Second, any information that you don't have, you don't have to share that. And third, I say it on the floor of Rajya Sabha as Home Minister, nobody will be marked D."
He also asked the Leader of Opposition, Ghulam Nabi Azad of the Congress, to visit him along with other opposition leaders to clarify doubts on NPR.
The Opposition was distrustful about the clarification.
"It is not correct that the Home Minister is saying the government will not be asking for these documents, what is the use of this exercise then?" Kapil Sibal questioned.
Several states have refused to carry out the NPR exercise, seen by many to be a precursor to the controversial National Register for Citizens (NRC), which has provoked protests nationwide along with the citizenship law CAA. These include Bihar, ruled by BJP ally Nitish Kumar, and Tamil Nadu, where another ally, AIADMK, is in power.
Those objecting to the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), NRC and NPR believe that a combination of the three will be used to leave thousands of Muslims stateless.
Trinamool Congress member Derek O Brien called the proposed nationwide CAA-NRC-NPR exercise as a "toxic combination" in the Rajya Sabha.
The NPR was carried out in 2010 as part of the census, but the latest forms have fueled massive anger and concern because of the need to prove an individual's parents' birthplace. Producing such documents is a tough ask for many.
There was also fear over reports that if people did not give answers to the NPR questions, houses would be marked "D".
The usual questions are on the type of house, the number of family members, source of electricity, whether the family has access to a toilet, the type of toilet, wastewater outlet, availability of a bathing facility, availability of kitchen and LPG/PNG connection and main fuel used for cooking.
In the 2020 NPR, there are eight additional data fields that ask one to furnish data and proof on the parents' birthplace and date of birth, a person's present and permanent address, mother tongue and nationality.