Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Tuesday that the 2021 Census will be conducted in the state without the addition of the National Population Register.
“Our stance is clear: Kerala will not implement NPR,” Vijayan told the Assembly, in a speech he later tweeted. “We have made it known to the Union government. The fears that are being fanned about the Census in Kerala are unfounded. In our state, the census will be carried out only in the usual manner [as it was done before NPR was introduced] and will not have any business with NPR.”
The chief minister said the census enumerator will take details such as name and age when he or she visits households. He said questions like the identity of a person’s father and grandfather or such other relatives, which the Centre wants, will not be asked at all.
As first reported by Scroll.in, the NPR is the first step to creating an all-India National Register of Citizens, which would identify undocumented migrants residing in India. Kerala and West Bengal have suspended all work on the NPR, while five Congress-ruled states are mulling similar action.
On December 24 last year, the Union Cabinet approved the release of over Rs 3,900 crore funds for the NPR exercise, which is scheduled to begin in April. This decision came on the same day when Union Home Minister Amit Shah claimed that there was no link between the NRC and the NPR.
There have been widespread protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act, and the proposed NRC and NPR around the country over the last two months. Twenty-eight people have died in the demonstrations so far, with 26 of the deaths occurring in three Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled states.
The NPR data, first collated in 2010 under the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government, was updated in 2015 through door-to-door survey.