Lucknow/Nagpur: As Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi chief Prakash Ambedkar called Centre's National Population Register exercise an 'eve design', the chief of a regional giant in Uttar Pradesh came up with a suggestion to put off any caste or religion-based discrimination.
While BR Ambedkar's grandson in Nagpur said that NPR was aimed at ferreting out information about the caste and ideology of people in the country, Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav in Lucknow pitched for conducting a caste census.
The SP chief said the Census is going to take place again. But again we are not going to be counted. The reason is that the day the caste census takes place, the Hindu-Muslim conflict will come to an end, he said without elaborating. He added that once this happens nobody will be upset with Yadav brothers.
Yadav was addressing party workers at an event here to welcome new members to the SP. They included leaders at the block panchayat level and those who had fought elections in the past.
The SP chief claimed that the NRC and the recently enacted Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) are anti-poor. In an apparent reference to the recent criticism of the NRC and the National Population Register (NPR), he said the poor will find it difficult to get their date of birth certificates. "Earlier there were no calendars and the birthdays of most people in villages were based on festivals," he said.
He compared this to the inconvenience people went through when the Narendra Modi government demonetised high-value currency notes. The BJP created a rift between the rich and poor through demonetisation. All of us stood in queues. Tell me how many farmers benefitted. And the dream that corruption and terrorism will be eradicated, what happened to it? he said.
Meanwhile in Nagpur, Ambedkar said, "The motive of the government is to get caste and ideology information of every family. This is an evil design of the Narendra Modi government.
The Centre had, on December 24, approved Rs 3,941.35 crore for updating the National Population Register. As per the government, the NPR is a list of "usual residents" of the country, with "usual resident" being defined as a person who has resided in a local area for the past six months or more, or a person who intends to reside in that area for the next six months or more.
The National Population Register (NPR) was prepared in 2010 under the provisions of the Citizenship Act, 1955 and Citizenship Rules, 2003, and was subsequently updated in 2015 by seeding it with Aadhaar. As per the website of Office of the Registrar General, and Census Commissioner, it has been decided to update the NPR along with the house-listing phase of Census 2021 during April to September 2020 in all the states and union territories except Assam.
The VBA chief also slammed the Centre for economic mis-governance and said it was selling high-value assets like Navratna companies to tide over a shortfall in revenue.
(With PTI inputs)