In the latest development from the south, Kerala government’s state cabinet has decided to inform the Registrar General of India and Census Commissioner that the state will carry out its own census. The Finance Minister of Kerala Thomas Isaac, on Monday, also informed the two bodies that they will not implement the National Population Register (NPR). This comes after Kerala passed a resolution against CAA, NPR.
Speaking about the state government’s decision, Thomas Isaac said, "It will be counterproductive in a state like Kerala where assembly unanimously has adopted a resolution against the NPR, and to have it along with the census. The people just won't co-operate. Can we force the people to give information? This is an issue on which Kerala is united.”
The Finance Minister further said that the data obtained after the census cannot be used as primary data for any other purpose nor can it be diverted to anybody. Furthermore, speaking about the Chief Secretary Tom Jose's meeting with Governor Arif Mohammed Khan, Isaac said, "When the Governor gives a letter, the government has to respond. The Governor has to be informed if the state is taking an action against the rules of the Centre, but we don't require the consent of the Governor”.
The Kerala government earlier this week moved the Supreme Court against the CAA, seeking to declare it “violative of the principles of equality, freedom and secularism enshrined in the Constitution”. It was the first state government to challenge the Act and the Kerala Assembly was the first to pass a resolution against the law. Following in the southern state’s footsteps, the Punjab Assembly on Friday passed a resolution demanding to scrap the contentious law. Several state governments including Kerala, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal and Maharashtra have voiced their disagreement with the CAA as well as National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR).