Use old NPR format, urges Bihar CM Nitish Kumar

Nitish Kumar who is the JD(U)’s national president and had been running a coalition government with the BJP.

Patna: Bihar Chief Nitish Kumar on Tuesday said that the Central government should continue with the old format of the NPR that was used in 2011 to avoid confusion among the people.

Nitish Kumar who is the JD(U)’s national president and had been running a coalition government with the BJP said that his party would request the government to consider dropping fresh columns seeking birth details of parents.

“The NPR has been there since 2011 but all of us believe that adding questions about parents’ birth details is likely to create confusion. Several people in our country are not aware of their parents birth details. The government should consider using the old format,” Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said. He was talking to reporters at his official residence here after presiding over a meeting of JD(U) parliamentarians, legislators and office-bearers of the party's Bihar unit, even though disgruntled top leaders like national vice-president Prashant Kishor and national general secretary Pavan Varma remained conspicuous by their absence.

Political parties, who have dubbed the NPR as the first step towards NRC, have been of the view that the government may use it in the future while implementing pan-India NRC.

Last month while speaking in the state Assembly he had opposed NRC and said that the “exercise will not be implemented in Bihar. Prime Minister has also clarified about the issue”.

His categorical statement on the issue of NRC had caused unease among few BJP leaders who have been urging the Centre to implement the exercise across the country including Bihar and Jharkhand.

On Tuesday, he also expressed concerns over the ongoing nationwide protests on the issue of Citizenship Amendment Act and said that the matter is in the Supreme Court and “people who have doubts should wait for the court to hear the petition and then decide”.

He gave the statement on the sidelines of his party’s meeting which was organised to discuss strategies for the Assembly elections scheduled to be held later this year.

JD(U) which supported the CAB in the Parliament has been worried after political leaders including several from his party opposed the CAA and NRC. Two prominent JD(U) leaders Prashant Kishor and Pavan Verma have been urging the Chief Minister not to implement the exercise in Bihar.

According to political analysts here, the Opposition parties especially the RJD and the Left have been talking about using the issue against Nitish Kumar and his party during the Assembly polls which is scheduled to be held by the end of this year.

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