New Delhi: At a time when there are rising protests over the National Register of Citizens (NRC), Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Sunday said that a proper legal process will be followed to implement the NRC across the country. He also said that before implementing the NRC, each and every state will be consulted. He further stated that some data collected for the National Population Register (NPR) ‘may or may not be used’ for the NRC exercise across the country.

Speaking in an interview to Indian Express, the Union Minister stated that all the exercises related to the NRC will be done publicly and nothing will be a secret on an NRC. “There is a legal process. First a decision, second a notification, then the process, the verification, the objection, the hearing of the objection, right of appeal. There will be a consultation with the state government, feedback will be taken. If anything is to be done, it will be done publicly. Nothing will be a secret on an NRC.”

The Union Minister’s remarks come at a time there a number of state chief ministers, including West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee and Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan, have openly rejected the Centre’s move to implement it in their respective states.

Earlier in an exclusive interview to ANI, Union Minister Amit Shah had stated that the NPR and NRC are two different things and NPR data would never be used for the NRC exercise. “There is no connection between the two exercises, nor can they be used in each other’s survey,” he had said earlier.

Making it further clear, Prasad stated that no decision has yet been taken on documents that would be acceptable for a nation-wide NRC. “This question is entirely academic. When the process will start under Rule 3 and Rule 4 of The Citizenship (Registration of Citizen and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003, then there will be a proper public declaration of that,” he told the Indian Express.