Bengaluru: While the whole nation waits with bated breath as PM Modi is scheduled to address it at 8pm today, the CPI(M) has made a peculiar remark. 

The CPI(M)'s Politburo has demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi announce the deferment of census operations and abandonment of the National Population Register (NPR) in the wake of the spread of coronavirus.

Modi is on Thursday scheduled to address the nation on the situation arising out of the coronavirus outbreak and the efforts to combat it, the Prime Minister's Office said on Wednesday.
"Given the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for taking precautions such as social distancing, the Politburo of the CPI(M) is of the firm opinion that the NPR enumeration slated to begin from April 1 must be abandoned," a statement from the party said. 

It said the government and all its agencies must "single-mindedly" focus on controlling the pandemic and meeting the consequent challenges threatening people's health and livelihood.
"Already 13 state governments declared their opposition to the NPR/NRC process. The census operations should be deferred till the situation normalises. PB calls upon the Prime Minister to make this announcement in his much-advertised address to the nation today, March 19 at 8 pm," the statement from the party said.

The Prime Minister has been dealing with situation with an iron fist. With regular twitter updates and exhortations to maintain and follow hygiene, he has kept the nation informed about how to deal with the deadly virus. 

He even held a SAARC videoconferencing involving its members and discussed ways to deal with the issues. 

He even broached upon the topic of having a common fund among the SAARC nations, with India pitching in with 10 million US dollars. 

(With PTI inputs)