West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has contradicted his Home Minister Amit Shah when he, at a rally in Delhi, pointed out that the nationwide rollout of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) may not happen.
PM Modi at the rally attacked Ms Banerjee over her stand that she will not implement the NRC and the amended citizenship law in West Bengal, saying she must consult with "those who know law" if that was possible. He also criticised her over her recent comment about a "UN referendum" over the citizenship issue.
Ms Banerjee's reply on Twitter was swift. "Whatever I said is there in public forum, whatever you said is there for the people to judge. With PM contradicting Home Minister publicly on nationwide NRC, who is dividing fundamental idea of India? People will definitely decide who is right and who is wrong #IRejectCAA #IRejectNRC," she tweeted.
Whatever I said is there in public forum, whatever you said is there for people to judge. With #PM contradicting #HomeMinister publicly on Nationwide NRC, who is dividing fundamental idea of India? People will definitely decide who is right & who is wrong #IRejectCAA#IRejectNRC— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) December 22, 2019
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan also echoed Ms Banerjee's views. .
The assurance of Prime Minister on NRC sounds hollow, because HM Mr. Shah contradicts this very claim. It is worth recollecting the claims made during the time of demonetization; "give me 50 days", ending counterfeits, black money, terrorism etc. Well, we all know what happened.— Pinarayi Vijayan (@vijayanpinarayi) December 22, 2019
Mr Shah has announced the NRC, which was implemented in Assam earlier this year leaving 19 lakh people out of the final citizens' list, will be extended to the entire country. "Whatever is happening in Assam is under the orders of the Supreme Court. The NRC process will be undertaken in the entire country," Mr Shah had said in parliament last month.
Referring to the violent protests in many parts of the country against the citizenship law, PM Modi on Sunday said the CAA and the NRC will not be applied to Muslims of the country.
"Lies are being spread. There are leaders who told in TV interviews that NRC across India will involve such heavy expenses but I want to say why you are you wasting your mental energy in something that is not even there. (Jo hai hi nahi usme kahaan itna dimag khapa rahe ho rey)," PM Modi said.
Violent protests broke out in several parts of the country after the citizenship law - which for the first time makes religion the test of citizenship in India - was passed in parliament earlier this month. Several people have died in Assam, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh in the violence over the week.
The government says it will help minorities from three Muslim-dominated countries to get citizenship if they fled to India because of religious persecution. Critics say it is designed to discriminate against Muslims and violates the secular principles of the constitution.