The AIADMK government in Tamil Nadu on Thursday, 12 March said it has put on hold the National Population Register exercise, saying the Central government has not responded to its concerns over some new features.
Chief Minister K Palaniswami had written to the Centre seeking appropriate amendments to the provisions to allay the fears of minority communities, especially Muslims, over queries like Aadhaar and details of parents and the Centre was yet to respond.
Revenue Minister RB Udhayakumar said AIADMK is the second ally of BJP to raise concerns over NPR after the Assembly in NDA-ruled Bihar passed an unanimous resolution that it would be carried out strictly according to the 2010 format.
Udhayakumar said the Tamil Nadu government was clear it will begin the exercise only after getting clarification from the Centre.
“Till now there is no reply to the state’s letter seeking clarification and hence the NPR exercise is put on hold,” he told reporters here.
The AIADMK government's stand came amid demands by the main opposition DMK that the state should not take up NPR, which has also been stayed in opposition ruled states, including Kerala and West Bengal.
He refuted the claim of DMK chief M K Stalin that people would be forced to submit documents during the NPR exercise.
"We are repeating again that people need not submit any documents for NPR, during the NPR exercise, if the officials ask questions, whatever answers you are giving, it will be taken. No need to submit any documents", he said.
Hitting out at the DMK, he said the NPR was introduced in 2010 when the party was part of the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre and did not oppose the move then. "Even during the DMK rule, NPR was implemented in the state but now, you all know that there has been a series of discussions on the NPR", he said.
The Minister said NPR applies to all religions and does not single out any particular religion.