Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami on Wednesday said aspects like an Assembly resolution against the National Register of Citizens (NRC) were “under the consideration” of the government.
The chief minister also said the Centre has made optional furnishing of information like parents’ place of birth in the National Population Register and therefore “there is no issue” with NPR.
“All that is under the government’s consideration,” Palaniswami said when reporters sought to know if Tamil Nadu will pass an assembly resolution on the lines of Bihar, which had on Tuesday resolved in the House unanimously that there is no need for NRC in that state.
Palaniswami did not elaborate on the matter. The chief minister, who had earlier said nobody in Tamil Nadu will be affected by the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), against which protests are still on in Chennai, said the census exercise was being conducted once in 10 years in the country.
He recalled the NPR was “brought” in in 2003 during the BJP-led NDA rule while it was implemented across the country by the Congress in 2010, pointing out that his party’s arch-rival, the DMK, was a constituent in both coalitions. The then DMK government had in 2011 implemented NPR across Tamil Nadu, he said.
“Now the Centre has included three additional aspects–language, parents’ place of birth, and (furnishing) of documents like Aadhaar, ration card and Voter ID…now centre has made these optional and that there are not compulsory. So, there is no issue in NPR,” Palaniswami added.
To a question on Karnataka’s proposal to construct a dam across river Cauvery at Mekedatu, he said as per the final verdict of the Supreme Court, this was not possible. He pointed out that the state has moved the apex court against Karnataka in this connection.
Incidentally, Tamil Nadu had on Tuesday claimed it prevented Karnataka from discussing the contentious issue at the Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA) meeting in Delhi by pointing to the pending petitions in the Supreme Court. The chief minister also took a jibe at the DMK roping in political strategist Prashant Kishor’s Indian Political Action Committee (I-PAC) to face next year’s Assembly polls, saying “voters cannot be purchased” using an agency.
“We go to the people. Have we faced polls like that so far. Party men, its functionaries and people determine the electoral result. It is not something like hiring an agency for a product…you can’t purchase voters using an agency,” he said.
Asked if this can be assumed as “DMK’s weakness,” the chief minister shot back, saying “you have said so.” “Let it be your opinion,” he added.