Chants of 'Jai Sree Ram' rented the air at the Ramlila Maidan on Sunday as Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a crowd over one lakh people, launching the BJP’s campaign for the Delhi elections scheduled for next year. Listing the achievements of the Centre in Delhi, the PM also addressed the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act. Emphasising that critics must respect the Parliament's decision, he maintained that his government does not discriminate against residents on the basis of religion.
Disregarding his own Home Minister Amit Shah's statement that NRC will be implemented across the country, the Prime Minister said, "Those who are crying about papers and documents, they are misleading Muslims."
He stated that there has been no discussion on NRC and that only after the Supreme Court ordered, the exercise was conducted in Assam. He further said that Congress and some educated 'Urban Naxals' are tried to mislead the public on the CAA as well as the National Register of Citizens.
“I want to tell the 130 crore citizens of India that since my government has come to power, since 2014, there has been no discussion on NRC anywhere. Only after the SC order, this exercise was done for Assam. Lies are being spread,” PM said.
He also said, "When NRC was being formulated, the Congress was in power, was Congress sleeping then? We haven't made this law (NRC), it has not come in Parliament, nor the Cabinet, nor have any rules been formulated."
However, on November 20, Union Home Minister Amit Shah told the Parliament that NRC will be implemented nationwide. He had then added that nobody from any religion or community should have any apprehension.
The PM blamed 'educated Naxals, urban Naxals of spreading rumours that all Muslims will be sent to detention centres'. "Even educated people are asking what detention centres? These are the rumours and lies being spread? Have some regard for your education, read up before you comment," he said.
He further stuck to the government's narrative, which focuses on the alleged violence against police and damage to public property by protesters.
“Schools were attacked, motorcycles and cars were vandalised. Public property, paid by taxpayers' money, has been set ablaze. What is their politics, what are their intentions?" he asked. “You have a problem with me, burn my effigies. Don’t burn the poor’s rickshaws, the huts of poor people. Whatever anger you have against me, take it out on me. Hate me, but don’t hate India," he added.
He further alleged that the police force in the country is under attack.
“Police officials have faced violence during this protest, they are being beaten, what are you gaining out of this? I want to say, the police are not the enemy. Under your (Congress) government too, this police force was under you. When there is some crisis or trouble, be it day or night, summer or winter, religion or caste, the police are ready to help you,” he announced.
The Prime Minister, however, failed to address the alleged police excess ordered by the Centre against students in Jamia Millia and Aligarh University. He also did not touch upon the 20 civilian deaths reported across the country, allegedly in violence that broke out during the protests as well as the 2 deaths in Mangaluru due to police firing.
He blamed the Opposition for spread 'misinformation' and inciting persons.
“There are some people who are trying to mislead people, fool people and incite emotions. They incited people, people in high positions shared fake videos. I want to know from them, these liars and the people who incite, when we authorised Delhi’s unauthorised colonies, did we ask people that time, what was your religion or supporters of this party? Did we ask people for proof? We never asked for their religion or caste"," claimed the Prime Minister.
(With inputs from Priyanka Thirumurthy)