Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami. (File)
The demand to pass a resolution against the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Tamil Nadu Assembly is under consideration, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami said on Wednesday.
Palaniswami’s brief response to a question in this regard marks a significant change from the state government’s earlier position. It had so far blamed Opposition DMK for “misleading” people in the ongoing protests against the NRC and the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
While interacting with the media at Mukkombu, near Trichy, on Wednesday, Palaniswami was asked whether his government plans to pass a resolution against NRC in the Assembly, especially after Bihar, where BJP is in power in alliance with JD(U), passed a unanimous resolution in the House stating that National Population Register (NPR) be implemented “in its 2010 form” with one amendment. Palaniswami replied, “It is under consideration of the government.”
The Chief Minister’s remarks come days after massive protest rallies against the CAA and NRC led by minority communities were held in the state - a rally in Chennai alone had at least 15,000 people.
Refusing to comment on the violence and killings in Delhi, Palaniswami blamed the DMK for the NPR process. He said: “The Census process is going on for long, but NPR was brought in by the UPA, which included the DMK, in 2010. Even if the revised NPR seeks more information such as language, details of parents, assets and certain identities, the Centre has now clarified that none of these information are mandatory to be shared. It is clear that there is no need to submit documents - all that is optional.”
Asked why he excluded Trichy and Ariyalur districts from the state government’s recent announcement, declaring Cauvery delta as a protected agricultural zone, the CM said the Cauvery Delta region was declared a Protected Special Agricultural Zone (PSAZ) to protect the region from methane extraction projects. He said: “Even if I made an announcement earlier, I realised after discussions with officials that including districts like Trichy, Ariyalur or Karur as a protected zone was not necessary because these regions were not affected by methane extraction projects.”
Besides, he said, these districts have many industries, and making them part of PSAZ will affect those industries and jobs. He added that the declaration of PSAZ is a state’s decision, and the Centre’s permission is not required.