‘No NPR in Its Current Form’: AP Assembly Adopts Resolution

Deputy Chief Minister introduced the resolution which was adopted in the Budget session of the Assembly.

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File photo of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy.
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The Andhra Pradesh Assembly on Wednesday, 17 June adopted a resolution against the National Population Register (NPR) exercise in its current form, asking the Centre to revert to the NPR format used in 2010.

Amjad Basha, Deputy Chief Minister (Minorities Welfare), introduced the resolution which was adopted in the Budget session of the Assembly.

“NPR in its current format is causing fear, apprehensions and insecurities in the minds of the people of Andhra Pradesh. The addition of new columns, especially pertaining to the parents’ place of birth and date of birth, mother tongue etc in NPR 2020 has led to unnecessary confusion and lack of trust among the public to the extent of impinging on public order. Under these circumstances, the Government of Andhra Pradesh requests the Central government to revert the NPR exercise to the 2010 format,” Amjad Basha said.

The NPR is an identity database of every usual resident in the country. However, in December 2019, when the country was rocked by massive protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), news broke that the NPR exercise proposed for 2020 included questions on the date and birthplace of an individual’s parents.

The new questions led to fears that the NPR could be a gateway to the CAA and the National Register of Citizens (NRC), as it mirrored the citizenship requirements under the CAA.

As per the Assembly resolution adopted on Wednesday, the NPR process in Andhra Pradesh is to be postponed until the Centre agrees to return to the older format.

Although the state government had previously geared up to conduct the NPR exercise between April and September 2020, earlier in March, Chief Minister Jagan announced that the YSRCP government had decided to request the Central government to “revert the conditions to those prevailing in 2010.” He had declared that a resolution in this regard would be introduced in the upcoming Assembly session.

On 4 March, the Andhra Pradesh cabinet had adopted a resolution to this effect.

The Assembly session, which was scheduled to take place in March, was postponed due to the ongoing pandemic.

Previously, following widespread public opposition in the state, Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy had assured that the NRC to prove one’s citizenship will not be implemented in Andhra Pradesh.

The state government “reiterates its principled stand against the NRC”, stated the Deputy Chief Minister on Wednesday.

However, it is to be noted that the YSRCP had voted to pass the Citizenship Amendment Act in the parliament. Deputy Chief Minister Basha had later said that supporting the Bill was a mistake.

(The article was originally published in The News Minute and has been reposted with permission.)

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