Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday clarified that the National Population Register (NPR) would not require any individual to submit any documents.
"All the information asked is optional. Nobody has to fear from the process of NPR. There will be no 'D' (doubtful) category," he said.
Speaking in the Lok Sabha, Shah also said that hate speeches had begun after the arrival of the Citizenship Amendment Act. Muslims, he said, were being misled.
"No one's citizenship is being taken away," he assured.
Shah who had earlier said that the NPR was not linked to the National Register of Citizens on Thursday added that people could the giving of information for the NPR was optional and questions could be left unanswered.
"If you do not have some information, it is not necessary to give it," he clarified.
On previous occasions, the NPR has been linked to the NRC and the CAA. While Shah denies a link between the three, it has not been a consistent claim.
Earlier, the Narendra Modi-led government had, on several occasions said that the that the NRC and the NPR were linked. The 2018-19 annual report from the Ministry of Home Affairs for example had called the NPR the first step towards implementation of the NRC.
The NPR is a list of the "usual residents" of India. This is defined as someone who has lived in an area for six months or more, or as someone who intends to reside in that area for the next six months or more.
Critics of the scheme argue that when taken in combination with the CAA and the NRC, it could leave many people stateless.
(With inputs from agencies)