Mumbai, Feb 15 (PTI) Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has assured to take a decision on the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the National Population Register (NPR) 'in the interest of people' through discussions, NCP leader and state Housing Minister Jitendra Awhad said here on Saturday.
Awhad dismissed as 'baseless' the reports claiming that the state government had directed officials to start collecting data for the NPR from May 1 to June 15 in a special drive.
'It is unfortunate that some groups were trying to create disputes in the alliance government without any reason,' Awhad tweeted.
The NCP and the Congress are the ruling constituents in the Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government.
The NCP leader also said that he had spoken with the officials concerned who were quoted in the news reports.
The officials informed me that the details mentioned in these reports were not true, he said.
'I discussed the issue with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray who told me that discussions regarding the NPR and the NRC will be held with all the concerned (parties), and a decision which is in the interest of citizens of the state will be taken,' he said.
Notably, in his recent interview, Thackeray, who heads the Sena, had said that there was no need to fear the Citizenship Amendment Act, but asserted that his government will not allow implementation of the proposed NRC as it would 'impact people of all religions'.
Meanwhile, AICC general secretary in-charge of Maharashtra, Mallikarjun Kharge, on Saturday refused to reply to questions of reporters here about the implementation of the NPR.
When asked to respond to opposition BJP's criticism that the the MVA government will not last its full term, Kharge said, 'the BJP is dreaming'.
Mumbai Congress spokesman Charanjit Singh Sapra alleged the 'misinformation' on the NPR was being spread by the BJP's 'dirty tricks' department to derail the MVA government.
He clarified that the government has only decided to conduct the exercise for the Population Census from May 1, as per the existing procedure.
'Three days ago, a meeting was held at the Sahaydri guest house in Mumbai on Census rollout. In that meeting, which was conducted by GAD (General Administration Department) secretary in the absence of the chief minister and chief secretary, it was decided to conduct Census (data) exercise from May 1,' Sapra said in a statement.
'This is an old process. The Census had been conducted in the country 16 times in the past. This time, it will be eighth time since Independence,' he said.
Notably, seeking repeal of the CAA, Congress president Sonia Gandhi had last month demanded immediate stopping of the process of the NPR, calling it a 'disguised NRC'. PTI MR NSK NSK NSK