Updated: December 22, 2019 10:38:56 pm
In what was one of his longest public speeches, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Sunday took on the Opposition for spreading “rumours and misinformation” about the amended citizenship Act, at Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan.
Even as the demonstrations against the Citizenship Amendment Act and National Register of Citizens (NRC) continue across the country, PM Modi said no rules had been framed so far for a country-wide NRC, and the exercise was carried out in Assam on the Supreme Court’s orders.
Here are 10 important things the PM said in his speech.
Law won’t affect Indian Muslims, no detention centres in India
Asking the attendees at the rally to stand up in respect for Parliament for passing the CAA, PM Modi said the law would not impact Indian Muslims. “We have passed the Citizenship Amendment Bill. Parliament should be honoured for this. However, a few Opposition parties are politicising the issue and spreading rumours about the Bill. CAA will not affect any Indian citizen, be it Hindu or Muslim. There have been multiple rumours about NRC too. NRC was implemented in Assam on the Supreme Court’s orders. No rules have been framed for bringing it to the whole country, it has not been introduced in Parliament. There is no detention centre in India,” the PM said.
Never discriminated against anyone over religion
“We have never asked anyone if he goes to a temple or a mosque when it comes to implementing our schemes. Muslims are being misled, I have always ensured that documents don’t come in the way of beneficiaries availing development schemes. I dare rivals to find anything discriminatory in my work,” Modi said, citing his government’s development programmes.
Target me, don’t set public property on fire
“Some people are misleading people and stoking emotions against the citizenship law. My rivals should burn my effigy if they hate me, but they should not target the poor. Target me but don’t set public property on fire,” PM Modi said about the CAA protests.
Don’t target policemen, they help you irrespective of your religion, caste
“As many as 33,000 police personnel have laid down their lives working for the country since independence. Today, you are brutally thrashing them. When any problem arises, police personnel don’t ask your religion or caste. Whatever the time, in any weather, they are there to help you. What will you get from beating up poor people, poor drivers and policemen?” Modi said.
CAA inspired by Gandhi, don’t listen to Modi, at least follow Gandhi
“Who knows the pain of refugees better than Delhi? Those opposing the CAA are throwing acid on the pain of refugees. This law is not Modi’s brainchild. It is inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s thoughts. Gandhiji had said that whenever Hindus and Sikhs in Pakistan want to come back to India, they will be welcome. Those opposing the law don’t want to listen to Modi, but they should at least follow Gandhi, whose name they have affixed to theirs.”
Fundamental difference between refugee and infiltrator
“There’s a fundamental difference between a refugee and an infiltrator. A refugee openly says he has been forced to flee a country because of his faith, an infiltrator never admits he is from a different country. Those opposing the law are deliberately mixing up infiltrator and refugee. Congress leaders like Ashok Gehlot, Manmohan Singh have also earlier demanded that the government help those Hindus and Sikhs who have come here from Pakistan. But today, their hamdardi (sympathy) has become pet ka dard (stomach ache),” PM Modi said.
Some CMs say they won’t allow CAA. They should ask legal experts if that’s possible
“Some Chief Ministers are claiming they will not allow CAA to be implemented in their states. You stand under the same flag, sing the national anthem, but still make such speeches? At least ask your legal experts, your advocate general, if this is even possible,” the PM said. So far, the chief ministers of five Opposition-ruled states — West Bengal’s Mamata Banerjee, Punjab’s Amarinder Singh, Rajasthan’s Ashok Gehlot, Chhattisgarh’s Bhupesh Baghel and Kerala’s Pinarayi Vijayan — have opposed both the CAA and NRC, while Nitish Kumar in Bihar and Navin Patnaik in Odisha have said they won’t allow NRC.
Protesting with the Tricolour our right, but also brings responsibilities
‘When I see protesters wielding stones, I feel upset. But when I see some protesters out with the Tricolour in their hands, it brings some sukoon (peace) too. Those who are protesting with the Flag in their hands, I am sure, will also speak out against Pakistan, against terrorism. Holding the Flag is our right, but that also brings some responsibilities.”
Congress has a problem that Modi is popular in Muslim nations
“Congress has a problem with why Modi is so popular among Muslim nations. I made many peace overtures to Pakistan, got betrayal in return. But with other Muslim countries, our ties are excellent. The Haj quota has gone up, Indian prisoners have been released. Our ties with Bangladesh are the strongest in a long time. Congress fears that if Modi is popular among other Muslim countries, they will not be able to carry on with their politics of fear among Indian Muslims. Do not listen to these fearmongers. I assure all my countrymen, I will always do everything necessary for harmony in the country.”
BJP and I made you Delhi’s VIP: PM to residents of unauthorised colonies
Stating that regularising colonies will boost business in Delhi, Modi said, “Even after several decades of Independence, a large section of the population in Delhi had to face fear, uncertainty, deceit and false electoral promises. Sealing, bulldozer and a cut-off date — the life of a large population in Delhi was confined around these words. We decided this cannot go on. I and the BJP got the chance to usher in a new dawn for over 40 lakh people, by giving them ownership rights to their houses.”
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