Amid the ongoing row over the National Population Register, Minister of State, Prime Minister’s Office Dr. Jitendra Singh on Thursday posted an old video nailing the alleged contradictory stance of Congress. In the video, the then Union Home Minister P Chidambaram is addressing a press briefing on the NPR. Maintaining that NPR was mandatory in nature, he brushed aside concerns that it could inconvenience the citizens. Chidambaram opined that it was “not a big issue” as people gathered for many occasions such as a wedding and temple festival.
In the video, P Chidambaram is heard saying, “Once he goes voluntarily. To Aadhaar, he goes voluntarily. To the NPR camp, he would have to attend the first and the second camp mandatorily. And this is not a big issue. People gather many times in a year for a temple festival, for death, for a marriage. If you come from a village as I do you will understand- gathering in a village is not a great thing. People do gather and people gather many times.”
The NPR is a register of usual residents of the country being prepared at the local (village/sub-town), sub-district, district, state and national level under provisions of the Citizenship Act 1955 and the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003. It is mandatory for every usual resident of India to register in the NPR. Under the NPR, 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. It was first prepared in 2010 and updated in 2015.
Briefing the media on the decisions of the Cabinet on Tuesday, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar announced that the NPR would be updated. He revealed that funds worth Rs.3941.35 crore had been sanctioned by the Cabinet for this purpose. Moreover, he clarified that it had no relation with the National Register of Citizens.