Pan-India NRC was never on the table, says PM Modi

The BJP has majorly focussed on unauthorised colonies for the rally because this will become a big issue in Delhi elections, expected early next year.

Updated - December 24, 2019 07:29 pm IST

Published - December 22, 2019 01:57 pm IST - New Delhi

Scene at Ramlila Maidan during a BJP rally in New Delhi on December 22, 2019

Scene at Ramlila Maidan during a BJP rally in New Delhi on December 22, 2019

In a new twist to the raging controversy around the National Register of Citizens, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared on Sunday that there had been no discussion, no talk on an NRC for India since his government had taken power in 2014. 

Mr. Modi’s comments fly in the face of Home Minister Amit Shah’s statement in the Lok Sabha on December 9: “We are very clear that NRC will happen in this country.” Mr. Shah also said in the House, “ Magar maan ke chaliye ki NRC aane wala hai ” (but accept that there will be an NRC).

Also read: Snipers atop buildings, social media to be monitored ahead of PM Modi’s rally at Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan

In line with SC order 

Addressing a rally at Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan to kick off the Bharatiya Janata Party’s campaign for the Delhi Assembly election, Mr. Modi, however, said the NRC was conducted only in Assam because the Supreme Court had said so.

He attacked the Congress and “urban Naxals” for spreading “lies and rumours” about the NRC, the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and detention centres for Muslims followed by an appeal to the youth to both read and read up on the NRC and CAA.

“...the NRC – what lies are being spread about it...This [the NRC] was made during the Congress era. Were you asleep then? We didn’t make it; it didn’t come to the Parliament, nor did it come to the [Union] Cabinet. Nor have its rules and regulations been formulated. A bogey is being created,” the Prime Minister said, towards the middle of his one hour and forty minute address.

PM Narendra Modi addressing at a public meeting during a rally at Ramlila Maidan in New Delhi on December 22, 2019

PM Narendra Modi addressing at a public meeting during a rally at Ramlila Maidan in New Delhi on December 22, 2019


‘Childish criticism’

 Terming statements by the Congress and its allies as “childish”, the Prime Minister argued how a government which had succeeded in conferring land and ownership rights to the urban poor “without considering” either the religion or caste of the beneficiaries of the scheme could make another law in the same session to expel them.

“These are childish statements. The Congress, parties like it and their’re continuing to peddle lies? After the formation of my government, from 2014 till this day, I want to tell the 130 crore citizens of the country, there has been no discussion on the word NRC. There hasn’t even been any talk [about it]. Only, after the Supreme Court said so, it [the NRC] had to be done for Assam. What are you talking about? Lies are being spread,” Mr. Modi said further.

There was, the Prime Minister claimed, a need to identify the “retailers of lies” regarding the CAA, NRC and “detention centres for Muslims” before launching an attack on the Congress, its political allies and “urban Naxals.”

The CAA, Mr. Modi said, was not for any Indian citizen, whether Hindu or Muslim. “This has been said in Parliament and in Parliament, you cannot make inaccurate statements. This law has no connection to the 130 crore citizens of this country...The Congress, its allies and some literate naxals living in urban areas – Urban Naxals – are spreading the rumour that all Muslims will be sent to detention centres. I am amazed that this rumour is leading even well-educated people to ask what detention centres are,” he said.

“...lies are being peddled...if not anything else, at least value the education you’ve received. At least read what this CAA and NRC are once. You are educated people. I appeal to the youth of the country: please read these. And I want to tell those who still have any doubts that these rumours of detention centres being spread by the Congress and Urban Naxals are completely false, malicious and full of unholy intentions to destroy this country. Yeh jhooth hai, jhooth hai, jhooth hai  (This a lie, a lie, a lie),” he said emphatically.

The Muslims who belong to the soil of India, the Prime Minister added, had “nothing to do” with either the CAA or the NRC; nor, he said, were these anti-poor.

“The Muslims...whose ancestors are the children of Maa Bharti  (Mother India) have nothing to do with both the CAA and the NRC. The Muslims of the country are neither being sent to detention centres nor is there a detention centre in India...this is a white lie. This is a bad-intentioned game. This is an unholy game,” he said.

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