Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today indicated that he was not entirely on board with the National Population Register or the NPR in its current form. The National Population Register, he indicated, should be in the "old format" -- meaning he wanted all the new questions to be dropped from the questionnaire and effectively have the version used during Census.
"There is a lot of confusion and panic regarding the NPR. New questions have been added and we want it to be dropped," Mr Kumar was quoted as saying by leaders who attended a meeting with the Chief Minister this morning.
"There is a lot of objections to providing information on the date of birth and place of birth. To be frank, not everyone knows about the exact date and place of their birth, especially people from the poor community. So we want this confusion to end," he told the legislators and parliamentarians of the Janata Dal United and its district chiefs.
The Chief Minister has also said that the leaders of the JDU Parliamentary Party in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha "will apprise the BJP leadership about our concern", the sources said.
As for the Citizenship Amendment Act or CAA, the Chief Minister -- whose party has voted in favour of the law in parliament despite their earlier opposition -- said now everyone should just wait for the Supreme Court's verdict. "It anyone has a problem, they should argue before the court," said Nitish Kumar, referring to the contentious law, which has been challenged in the top court.
Among NDA allies, Ramvilas Pawan was the first one to flag the issue.
Mr Kumar's comments about the NPR comes amid countrywide uproar over the CAA and the National Register of Citizens.
Several Chief Ministers from opposition parties - including Mamata Banerjee and Pinarayi Vijayan - have said they will not allow the procedure in their states. The NPR, seen as the base for the citizens' register, is expected to be carried out across the country between April 1 and September 30.
The Centre has dismissed concerns about the methodology being adopted for the NPR exercise, though those have not been spelled out yet. "If someone does not want to share any information regarding any issue, it is up to that person. He has the option of not sharing it," Minister of State for Home Affairs GK Reddy has told reporters.