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NRC-CAA Have Nothing to Do With Indian Muslims, Lies Being Spread on Detention Centres: Modi at Delhi Rally

Addressing a rally at Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan, Modi said the Congress and ‘urban Naxals’ are spreading lies about detention centres in India and denied the existence of such centres.


Updated:December 22, 2019, 11:56 PM IST
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NRC-CAA Have Nothing to Do With Indian Muslims, Lies Being Spread on Detention Centres: Modi at Delhi Rally
Prime Minister Narendra Modi waves at supporters as BJP leaders Manoj Tiwari, Vijay Goel, Hansraj Hans and others look on during a rally at Ramlila Maidan in New Delhi on Sunday (PTI)

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday accused his rivals of stoking fear among people and misleading Muslims over the amended citizenship law, and said his government's schemes have never done any discrimination on the basis of religion.

Addressing a rally at Ramlila Maidan to kick off the BJP’s Delhi election campaign, he said the citizenship law and the proposed National Register of Citizens have nothing to do with Indian Muslims.

“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.

Unable to challenge him in elections, Modi asserted, his rivals have resorted to dividing the country through rumours. Without naming the rival parties, he said people were incited by those in high positions, who shared fake videos.

Modi added that the Congress and ‘urban Naxals’ are spreading lies about detention centres in India and denied the existence of such centres.

Modi devoted a considerable part of his nearly 100-minute speech, which he started with the slogan of 'vividhta me ekta, Bharat ki visheshta' (Unity in diversity is India's speciality) , to allay concerns of Muslims and said they should look at his "track record" and not listen to "tape record" of his rivals.

He cited his development schemes like giving LPG cylinders to the poor and health insurance scheme to assert that it has never mattered to his government whether people go to temple or mosque.

The citizenship law, Modi added, has in fact nothing to do Indian citizens. In a clear justification of having a nationwide National Register of Citizens, he said infiltrators never "reveal" themselves unlike refugees who never "hide" their identities.

He dared his rivals to find anything discriminatory in his work and alleged that they have resorted to dividing the country through their "vote bank politics, lies and rumours" after being unable to challenge him politically.

Modi said lies were being spread about the NRC and asserted that the previous Congress governments had mooted it. His government has not discussed it so far either in Parliament or in Cabinet, he added.

Speaking strongly against violence during the recent protests against CAA, he attacked the opposition for not making any appeal for peace and said their "silence" showed their indirect support to vandalism targeting school buses and trains.

Praising police forces, which have faced criticism from some quarters for allegedly using excessive force against students and protestors in a few places, the prime minister said they have always come to people's help and noted that over 33,000 of them have sacrificed their lives in duty since independence.

Several protesters in states like Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Assam have died in alleged police firing.

Modi asked his rivals to burn his effigy and thrash it with shoes if they wish so, but they should not target assets and properties of others. He quoted comments of former prime minister Manmohan Singh and Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot in support of giving citizenship rights to persecuted minorities from neighbouring countries to assert that the BJP-led NDA government has done what was promised by the opposition party when it was in power, but was never done due to vote bank politics.

He made a reference to a speech of Trinamool Congress president Mamata Banerjee, who is also West Bengal chief minister, in Parliament against infiltration into the state and attacked her for "changing" her stand due to "vote bank politics". "These leaders changed their stand and all their love and sympathy for these refugees vanished," he said.

Modi also spoke about the "support" he had received from Muslim countries and the highest civilian honour bestowed on him by many of them to assert that it has "scared" the Congress and its friends.

"They are worried if Muslims across the world support me so much, then how long they can frighten Indian Muslims (against me)," he said, while accusing his rivals of running a campaign against him. Modi said everything is being done to remove him by his rivals, adding that efforts have been made for over 20 years to target him but these never succeeded.

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