The Bihar assembly, on Tuesday, passed a unanimous resolution categorically stating that there is no need of NRC in the State and that the National Population Register (NPR) exercise be done strictly according to the 2010 format.
The all-party resolution got the approval of the legislative assembly in the post-lunch session following a debate on the adjournment motion moved by leader of the opposition Tejashwi Yadav and others in the House.
Opposition to ‘additional clauses’
Speaker Vijay Kumar Chaudhary read out the resolution in the presence of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, his deputy Sushil Kumar Modi and opposition leaders among others to which all the members approved by thumping of desks.
Besides saying no to NRC, and conducting NPR strictly on 2010 pattern, the resolution stated that “transgenders” be included in the gender column of the NPR.
Earlier, while replying to a debate on the motion, Kumar had reiterated his opposition to “additional clauses” having been inserted into the NPR. He told the house that his government had written to the Centre on February 15 in this regard.
The official letter was send to the Registrar-cum Census Commissioner by Principal Secretary of the State Revenue and Land Reform Department.
Kumar said though there is an alliance, the revenue and land reform department is headed by a minister hailing from the BJP. Such matters cannot be decided if there was any disagreement, he added.
Kumar told the State 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 place and date of birth of one’s parents.
He said he himself does not know the date of birth of his mother, who died a few years ago.
How many people would be remembering the birthday of their mother and father, Kumar asked, adding during discussion that many citizens say that their parents were born either before or after the massive 1934 earthquake in the State, and regarding year many in the rural areas would mention either winter or summer season.
“The concept of registration of birth was not much prevalent in the past as is now,” he said.
A strong opponent of National Register for Citizens despite his alliance with the BJP, Kumar, however, disapproved of ‘hauva’ (bogey) of NRC being raised by the opposition despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s categorical statement that its countrywide implementation was not on the anvil.
He said that the CAA is a central act passed by Parliament which is currently pending with the Supreme Court.
Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi asserted that there is no confusion at all about NPR after the Chief Minister made it clear that the exercise in Bihar will be done on 2010 format.
He asserted that no documents would be sought from anyone during the NPR process. “Opposition should not confuse people on CAA, NRC and NPR,” Modi added. He has already said that the updating of the NPR will be carried out in the state from May 15-28.
RJD claims victory
Meanwhile, the principal opposition RJD, claimed the resolution was a result of the party’s struggle against the contentious issues.
Giving his reaction over the passage of the resolution, Tejashwi Yadav said, “We shook the BJP, right from Delhi to Patna, which was not ready to budge an inch over the issue of NRC/NPR. BJP just saw it happening...We will not allow the CAA to be implemented in Bihar.”
“It is the outcome of our continuous struggle right from Parliament to streets that NDA government has to yield. Bihar, where is in BJP power, became the first state to pass a resolution for not implementing the NPR,” he said.
His mother Rabri Devi also credited him for taking the issue strongly within as well outside the Assembly with party workers which forced the state government to bring a resolution in this regard.