Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi in an interview to ANI news agency during the finalisation of the NRC draft said that ‘no citizen of India will have to leave the country’. He said that the list is a “promise of ours” and it was his government’s duty to honour “the mandate” they have got for it.
“I want to assure the people that no citizen of India will have to leave the country. As per the due process, all possible opportunities will be given to get their concerns addressed. The NRC was a promise of ours, which we are fulfilling under the guidance of the Honourable Supreme Court. It is not about politics but about people. If someone is making it about rajneeti (politics), it is extremely unfortunate. Our job in the political class is to work according to the will of the people and do what they have given us the mandate for,” he stated.
He said that the issue had been dragged by previous governments due to its ‘vote bank politics’.
“The roots of the NRC go back three decades, when Rajiv Gandhi had to bow to public pressure and sign the Assam Accord. Since then, Assam voted the Congress several times but the party did nothing about it and kept misleading the people. The Congress knew a problem exists but allowed it to fester for decades because they were guided by vote-bank politics,” Modi said.
Commenting on West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s remarks on the list, he said, “As far as Mamataji’s stand is concerned, she should remember what she said on the floor of Parliament in 2005. Was that Mamataji correct or is this Mamataji correct?”
Expressing regret over the increase in lynchings and violence against women across the country, he stated, ““It would be a great travesty to reduce these incidents to mere statistics and then indulge in politics over them. That shows a kind of perverse mindset that looks at violence and criminality as something to be milked, instead of unitedly opposing. Even a single incident is one too many and deeply unfortunate. Everyone should rise above politics to ensure peace and unity in our society.”
“Let there be no doubts about the will of my government to implement the rule of law in its true letter and spirit,” he said.
On the grand alliance of Opposition parties in the 2019 elections to come, he commented, “Let us understand the true character of the mahagathbandhan (grand alliance). The mahagathbandhan is for personal survival, not for ideological support. The mahagathbandhan is for personal ambitions, not for people’s aspirations. The mahagathbandhan is purely about power politics, not about people’s mandate. The mahagathbandhan is about dynasties, not about development. The mahagathbandhan is not about any union of minds or ideas, but about rank opportunism,” he said. “The only question is whether they will break up before the election or after.”
He pointed at the recent verdict of the no-confidence motion and the election of the Rajya Sabha vice-chairman as examples. “It should indicate which coalition is intact and which is falling apart. In fact, we got support even from those parties which are not our allies,” he said.