The Modi government has gone on record in Parliament that it has not taken any decision till now to prepare the National Register of Indian Citizens. This was the reply given by the minister of state for home affairs, Nityanand Rai, to a written question. This is in line with what the prime minister, Narendra Modi, had said at a rally in Delhi on December 22, 2019 that since his government came to power in 2014, there has been no discussion on the NRC.
These are half-truths meant to deceive the people. Half-truths because, the NRC as such, is not being compiled but the process of preparing the NRC has begun. When it is pointed out that the updation of the National Population Register (NPR) has been notified which is the first stage in the preparation of the NRC, then the government denies that there is any connection between the NPR and NRC. This is patently false.
The prime minister and other ministers of the union cabinet know very well that it was the Vajpayee government which adopted an amendment to the Citizenship Act of 1955 introducing the concept of a National Register of Indian Citizens in 2003. In order to bring such a register into being, the rules framed under this amended Act provides for a National Population Register. The NPR will consist of all usual residents in a locality and the answers collected through questions posed to the head of the household will be the data entered into the population register by the local registrar. It is out of this information that the screening and verification will be done of “doubtful citizens”. It is after this that the National Register of Citizens will be finalised.