HYDERABAD: Union Minister G Kishan Reddy on Thursday dismissed as "baseless" opposition parties' claims on National Population Register (NPR) that it was the first step towards implementation of National Register of Citizens (NRC) and said there was no link between the two.
The response comes a day after AIMIM Chief Asaduddin Owaisi along with representatives of a body of Muslim organisations in Telangana met Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and requested him to stay the work on updation of NPR on the lines of Kerala.
They said the NPR was the first step towards NRC.
"I strongly condemn the deliberate and baseless misinformation campaign being carried out by the opposition parties and a section of media that NPR is a precursor to NRC. I want to make it categorical that there is no link between the two. The present NPR is part of 2021 Census enumeration," Reddy said in a statement.
He further said the government was only continuing the NPR exercise started by the UPA government in 2010 by adding three or four columns related to the place of birth of parents of a person being enlisted, Aadhar card number and last place of residence, which are basic requirements for NPR.
He accused opposition parties of playing "mind games" and vitiating people's faith in the government, thereby derailing the process of progressive engagement which is mandatory for planning the nation's welfare agenda, for the alleviation of poverty, effective grounding of welfare schemes.
"I appeal to the people not to be swayed by this propaganda of neo Goebbels who are enemies of the poor," the Minister of State for Home said.
The Centre had on Tuesday approved nearly Rs 12,700 crore for carrying out the Census 2021 and the NPR and made it clear that NPR has no relation with the NRC.