NEWS PM ADDRESS
NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday spoke extensively on the ongoing protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act and said “No Muslim citizen of this country will be affected in any way” by the new parliamentary legislation. The PM, addressing a huge rally of BJP activists and supporters at Ramlila Maidan here said the Opposition was spreading lies about the new law to misguide the people.
The Prime Minister often turned emotional as he spoke and said it was not the policy of his government to discriminate against any citizen irrespective of their caste and religion or creed. He stressed that none of the welfare schemes of his government had ever looked at the caste or religious identity of people while distributing governmental goodies. “Lakhs of houses were constructed by the government for the poor, and we did not check the caste or religion in selecting the beneficiaries, he said.
This was the first time that the Prime Minister came on board to defend the CNN and NRC on a public platform after the protests started over a week ago.
The rally was organized as an initial push for the BJP to enter the assembly election race in Delhi, where voting for a new house is expected in a couple of months’ time. The PM however spent a large part of his address on explaining the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NCR). Protests against the two moves of the Modi government had led to protests in the capital, in some universities, in Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal states, as also Hyderabad and Kerala prominently this past week, resulting in clashes between protesters and police, police firing, and death of nearly 20 protesters.
The Prime Minister said the amended law did not aim at snatching away the rights of Indian Muslims. He said the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens have “nothing to do with Indian Muslims.” He also denied reports/rumours that the government is erecting detention centres to house illegals after a detection process.
In the new citizenship law, the government said it would facilitate grant of citizenship to Hindus who faced persecution in neighbouring Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan, but would not extend the benefit to Muslim refugees or illegals from these countries. The Muslim organizations in India raised a hue and cry over this, saying the new legislation was discriminatory in nature as it left out Muslims. The Leftist parties like the CPIM and the CPI as also leftist activists and anti-Modi, anti-BJP forces gave active support directly and indirectly to the Muslim groups to march to the streets.
The PM said, “ Citizenship law and NRC have nothing to do with Indian Muslims. And, there is no truth in the claims that there are detention centres being built in India. The Congress and ‘urban Naxals’ are spreading lies about detention centres. My rivals should burn my effigy if they hate me, but they should not target the poor.”
Added the PM: “We have never asked anyone if he goes to temple or mosque when it comes to implementing our schemes. Muslims are being misled, I have always ensured that documents will never come in way of development schemes and their beneficiaries. I dare rivals to find anything discriminatory in my work.”
“I am not snatching anyone’s rights, I am giving rights instead,” the PM said. IHN-NN
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