Reiterating that the ""additional clauses" in the National Population Register (NPR) forms will create confusion, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday has said that the state government has written to the Centre urging that these be dropped. Replying to a debate on an adjournment motion moved by Leader of Opposition Tejashwi Yadav and others in the Bihar assembly, Kumar told the assembly that there should be "no confusion" regarding how the NPR exercise would be carried out in the state and that nobody would be asked to furnish information like places of birth of parents.
Reading out the text of the letter to the Centre, Kumar said it has also been proposed by the Bihar government that "transgenders" be included in the gender column. A strong opponent of the National Register for Citizens despite an alliance with the BJP, Kumar, however, disapproved of "hauva" (bogey) of the NRC being raised by the opposition despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi's categorical statement that a countrywide implementation was not on the anvil.
He also sought to make light of the virulent opposition by leaders of the RJD and the Congress to the CAA, reading out from the parliamentary proceedings of 2003 to underscore that leaders such as former prime minister Manmohan Singh, former president Pranab Mukherjee and RJD supremo Lalu Prasad had been in favour of fast-tracking of grant of citizenship to refugees from the neighbouring countries.
This comes after the January 29 announcement by Nitish Kumar wherein he had said that the NPR should not have a new format as it will create confusion. He had also said that the inclusion of the new format is creating "unnecessary confusion and fear" amongst people. He had clarified that he is against the National Register of Citizens (NRC), and had urged the Central government to continue the old format of the NPR.
“The NPR has been there since 2011, it’s not a new thing but, in the new format with more questions, it can create confusion in the country,” he said while addressing media after a JD(U) party meeting at his official residence on Anne Marg. “Nobody knows their parents’ birth date, we believe that the Central government should continue with the old format of NPR,” he had said.