The BJP's problems are not because it is "wrong", but it has turned out a favourite of the people, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today. It pushed the party's political rivals to retaliate with a web of lies "through their ecosystem", he said amid countrywide protests against the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Registry of Citizens or the NRC. But without naming the CAA, the Prime Minister said there was no need to engage with the Opposition. "We have been elected with more numbers... this bunch opposed us, so why do we need to pay them any heed?" he said.
"In electoral politics, those whom the people have discarded, those whose words the people won't accept -- there are very few weapons left for them. One of them is to spread lies, rumours," PM Modi said at the party headquarters this evening as JP Nadda replaced Amit Shah as the party chief.
These opponents "talk such talks that add colour and a shape and spread rumours through their ecosystem. We see this regularly," he added, without spelling out the context.
The BJP has repeatedly accused the Congress and other opposition parties of engineering the protests that have been continuing since the citizenship law was passed last month.
Massive protests have been held over the past few weeks against the Citizenship Amendment Act - which the government says will help minorities from Muslim-dominated Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan to get citizenship if they fled to India because of religious persecution before 2015. Critics say they fear the law discriminates against Muslims and violates the secular principles of the constitution.
Read along with the National Register of Citizens, the other controversial law meant to flush out illegal migrants, it would be used to target Muslims, feel critics among whom are activists, politicians and a number of celebrities.
The Congress Working Committee or CWC -- the top decision-making body of the party - has passed a resolution against the CAA.
"The CAA is a discriminatory and divisive law. The sinister purpose of the law is clear to every patriotic, tolerant and secular Indian: it is to divide the Indian people on religious lines," Congress chief Sonia Gandhi has said.