New Delhi: The first question hour of the Budget Session dedicated to the Ministry of Home Affairs saw at least 10 questions on the issue of Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and proposed implementation of the National Population Register (NRC) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) and related protests.
The MHA, wile answering the queries, said no decision has been taken on conducting a pan-India NRC (NRIC). The Home Ministry also said the information shared for the National Population Register (NPR) will be voluntary.
Replying to Congress MP Manish Tewari’s question if the NPR process will segregate Doubtful or D voters, Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai said, "During the exercise of updation of NPR, no verification is done to find individuals whose citizenship is doubtful."
In response to a query from Congress' K Suresh, Rai said the providing details of Aadhaar will be voluntary.
"The respondent has to provide information for NPR updation true to the best of his knowledge and belief. Aadhaar number is collected voluntarily," Rai said when Suresh asked if the government has made it mandatory for citizens to share details of Aadhaar, passport number, voter ID and driving licence.
When the Congress MP asked if these details were to be compulsorily collected by enumerators, Rai said," no document will be collected during the updation of NPR."
The MHA also said that it is holding talks with those states that have objected to NPR. Three parliamentarians — Adoor Prakash, Prasun Banerjee and Anumula Revanth Reddy — had asked whether the government was aware that states like Kerala have put NPR work on hold and what the Centre was doing about it.
"The government is in discussion with states having concerns regarding the preparation of NPR," Rai said, adding, no documents will be collected during the NPR exercise and "till now, the government has not taken any decision to prepare NRIC".
The NRIC assertion was made by the MHA multiple times while replying to other questions.
This is the first time that the government said in Parliament that NPR and NRIC are not linked and that a decision on the latter hasn't been taken yet. Earlier, the then MoS Home, Kiren Rijiju, had said in Parliament that NPR would lead to NRC.