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After Opposing NRC, Nitish Kumar Has Some Advice For the Centre on NPR Questions

File photo of Bihar CM Nitish Kumar.

File photo of Bihar CM Nitish Kumar.

The Bihar CM said that the central government should continue with the old format of the NPR that was used in 2011 and not add new questions that can create confusion.

Patna: A month after saying that National Register of Citizens will not be implemented in Bihar, chief minister and BJP ally Nitish Kumar also opposed the questions that will be asked during the National Population Register Exercise (NPR).

Speaking to reporters, Kumar said that the central government should continue with the old format of the NPR that was used in 2011 and not add new questions that can create confusion.

“The National Population Register (NPR) has been there since 2011, it’s not a new thing,” he said, but added that the new questions added to it are likely to create confusion. “Not everyone knows their parents’ birth date... We believe the old format should continue,” he added.

There is still confusion regarding what all questions will be asked in the NPR exercise, which is due to start from April this year. A controversy has broken out over the additional questions included in it amid the ongoing row over changes to the citizenship law and the National Register of Citizens.

The six new parameters in the new NPR form that poses 21 questions includes Aadhaar number of the resident, Voter ID, PAN, driving licence number and mobile phone and date and place of birth of parents and the last place of residence.

Critics, which have dubbed the NPR as the first step towards a pan-India NRC, say there is no reason to ask such questions except use it as a database before the NRC.

Kumar had last month become the first BJP ally to oppose the proposed NRC exercise, calling it unjustified. He had also called for an open discussion on CAA, despite his party voting in its favour in the Parliament.

On the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act, which has led to nationwide protests, the CM said the matter is in the Supreme Court and will be debated there. “If someone has an issue, they can put it there,” he said.

Reacting to the arrest of anti-CAA activist activist Sharjeel Imam, who was slapped with sedition charges for allegedly delivering inflammatory speeches, Kumar said action will be taken against him as per law.

“Whenever someone does something wrong, there is an action accordingly. No one should go against law. Whatever he said, what action will be taken is for police and court to decide,” Kumar said. Imam was arrested from Jahanabad in Bihar by Delhi Police on Tuesday afternoon.

According to the police, Imam, a resident of Bihar and former Jawaharlal Nehru University student, delivered "very inflammatory and instigatory speeches in his opposition to CAA and NRC".