New Delhi: Left parties slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday for "lying" about the National Register of Citizen (NRC) and claimed that he was "rattled" by the intensity of the protests across the country against the amended Citizenship Act (CAA) and the population register.
Modi, at a rally here on Sunday, said there was no discussion on a nationwide NRC anywhere and assured the Muslim community that no one needed to worry about the new law.
"Clearly rattled by the intensity of popular protests across the country against the CAA/NRC/NPR and the declaration by at least 10 chief ministers that they will not implement the NRC, PM Modi unleashed yesterday at Delhi a bundle of untruths aimed at misleading the people. BJP's 2019 election manifesto promised the NRC all over the country," a statement from the Communist Party of India (Marxist) said.
Communist Party of India (CPI) general secretary D Raja said while the prime minister had stated that the NRC was not on the government's agenda, Home Minister Amit Shah and other leaders had spoken out about it, even in Parliament.
"Modi did not participate in the debate on such a critical legislation (CAA). The home minister was piloting the Bills -- CAB and the one on Article 370. Now the prime minister says that it is not a government agenda. Then who is speaking the truth and who is spreading lies?
"If what the prime minister has said is true, then will the government stop working on an NPR? We demand that the CAA be repealed, the NRC not be extended to the entire country and the NPR process stopped," he said.
Both the parties highlighted the discrepancies in Modi's statements and the earlier mentions of the NRC by Shah.
They said Shah, during a debate on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB) in the Lok Sabha on November 9, had said the government will implement the NRC across the country, while asserting that "not a single infiltrator will be spared", while Modi had stated that it was not discussed.
They also questioned how the prime minister said there were no detention centres anywhere when the minister of state for home affairs, in a reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha on December 11, said instructions were issued to all the states for setting up detention centres to detain illegal immigrants or convicted foreigners, pending deportation.
The Centre had, on January 9, sent consolidated instructions for the construction of detention centres to all states and Union territories, they said.
The CPI(M), in its statement, said the Centre told the Karnataka High Court on November 28 that it had written to all the state governments in 2014 and shot off a follow-up letter in 2018 to have detention centres to house foreign nationals illegally staying in India.
"During his 90-minute-long speech, Modi did not mention even once the growing miseries that his government and policies are imposing on people's day-to-day life. The economy is in a virtual recession, unemployment is at the highest in half-a-century. Distress suicides by farmers are growing, inflation is eating into people's lives -- people have stopped eating onions due to its exorbitant price.
"Clearly, the Modi government's only agenda is to sharpen communal polarisation and divide our people through the spread of hate and violence. The protests against the CAA/NRC/NPR will continue until an official notification is issued to stop the ongoing process," the statement said.