Minister of State for External Affairs, V Muraleedharan said that stopping the National Population Register (NPR) update will prevent people from getting due benefits. NPR is a Register of usual residents of the country. It is being prepared at the local (Village/sub-Town), sub-District, District, State, and National level.
He said, "I don't know what the ultimate intention is behind stopping the work. If some state governments decide not to implement, it will ultimately result in depriving the people of the state in getting the benefits and facilities that are due on the basis of that records. People should not be made as a bargaining tool for the petty political benefit of the leaders who are trying to mislead the people."
The comments come after Kerala and West Bengal have ordered for all NPR related work to be stopped in the state. While a government order said the NPR had been put on hold in view of apprehensions that it would lead to the National Register of Citizens (NRC), a statement from the Chief Minister's Office said the action was taken as the NPR "deviates from Constitutional values" and also because the matter was before the Supreme Court. The step by the CPI(M)-led government comes amid raging protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in the state and in several other parts of the country. Earlier this week, the West Bengal government stayed all activities relating to the preparation and updation of the NPR in the eastern state amid the furore over the CAA.
The order issued by the Kerala Principal Secretary (General Administration) said, "Considering that the apprehensions among the general public that the conduct of NPR related activities leads to NRC in the wake of Citizenship Amendment Act-2019, the state government orders to stay all the activities connected with the updation of National Population Register in the state forthwith."