PM Narendra Modi has finally publically addressed the tensions festering in the country over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act as well as the National Register of Citizens (NRC). As protests grip the country over the alleged communal connotations of the two exercises, PM Modi assured voters in Delhi that no Indian Muslim will be affected by the CAA and the NRC.
PM Narendra Modi was addressing crowds at a BJP rally in Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan ahead of the assembly elections in Delhi. Slamming the Aam Aadmi Party for failing to provide adequate welfare for the people of Delhi, the prime minister’s focus soon shifted to the controversial issue of citizenship. “A lie is being spread that this government had brought the law to snatch people’s rights,” the prime minister said and dared rivals to find anything discriminatory in his work.
Exclaiming from the stage in Delhi, PM Modi held the opposition (primarily Congress) and “Urban Naxals” responsible for spreading misinformation about the CAA and the NRC. He urged voters to respect the mandate that the BJP had been given in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections as well as respect those MPs who were responsible for the passing of the CAA.
“After this (CAA) bill was passed, some political parties are spreading rumours, confusing people and stoking sentiments,” said the prime minister.
PM Narendra Modi accused his rivals of stoking fears among people and misleading Muslims over the amended citizenship law and asserted that his government’s schemes have never done any discrimination on the basis of religion.
Using the occasion to dare the opposition, PM Modi said, “I challenge those spreading lies to go review the work I am doing and if there is even a whiff of communalism, please tell the nation.”
He also said that fake information was being spread about people being held in detention centres post the NRC exercise. He clarified that the NRC rule was drafted during the Congress’s tenure and that the BJP only implemented it in Assam because of the Supreme Court’s directives.
PM Modi also slammed the Congress and intellectuals for spreading “misinformation” about those excluded from the NRC being held in detention centres. “Congress and its friends, some urban Naxals are spreading rumours that all Muslims will be sent to detention centres…Respect your education, read what is the Citizenship Amendment Act and NRC. You are educated,” he said. The prime minister Modi claimed that no detention centres have been built in India.
Assuring the Muslim community, PM Modi said, “Those Muslims who were born on Indian soil should not be concerned by CAA and the NRC. They have nothing to do with these two things.”
The prime minister also slammed violence in protests and attacks on the police. “33,000 police personnel sacrificed their lives for peace and security in the country since Independence. Today, you are brutally thrashing them. When any problem arises, police don’t ask your religion or caste, whatever the weather or time they are there to help you.”
This is the first time the PM Narendra Modi has made a public statement about the Citizenship (Amendment) Act since it was passed. While earlier the PM had tweeted asking people to not engage in violence, on Sunday he addressed the fears surrounding the CAA and the NRC.