The Prime Minister made some statements on NRC in a rally he addressed on 22 December. Here is a fact-check on some of his statements.
Addressing a rally in Ram Leela Maidan on 22 December 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated that there has been no discussion on NRC in his government’s tenure at the centre.
Media and many from the civil society were quick to point out the mention of NRC by Amit Shah and other cabinet ministers on various forums. This is one of statements of the Prime Minister which contradicts the statements made by him and his government earlier. Not only him, various political parties and their leaders across the political spectrum have changed their stand vis-à-vis CAA & NRC as noted in one of our earlier stories. In this story, we fact check the various claims made about NRC & CAA by the Prime Minister & others.
Claim 1 : No discussion in the Government regarding NRC
During the speech at Ram Leela Maidan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated that , there has been no discussion in his government about NRC since he took over in 2014. He further goes onto say that the NRC in Assam was implemented as per the direction of Supreme Court. Here is the video link to this part of the speech.
In spite of the claim that his government has not discussed anything relating to NRC , there have been multiple instances where members of his government as well as Bharatiya Janata party have alluded to NRC.
a. The question of a nationwide NRC was asked multiple times in parliament. In their response, the government has been non-committal of carrying out NRC across the country.
However, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, told the Rajya Sabha on 20 November 2019 that NRC would be carried across pan-India. The Bharatiya Janata Party on its official Twitter handle tweeted his statement made in the Rajya Sabha.
b. Furthermore, addressing an election rally in Jharkhand ahead of the second phase of State elections, Amit Shah stated that NRC would be implemented to remove all the infiltrators from the country and this would be done prior to 2024 General elections. Here is a video link to that part of speech at the election rally.
c. The BJP also tweeted on 11 April 2019, an excerpt from Amit Shah’s speech , which stated that NRC would be implemented in the entire country. The tweet further states that all the infiltrators except for Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists would be removed from the country. This tweet is deleted from their twitter account. Factly was able to retrieved it from the web archives.
The BJP’s manifesto for 2019 elections, states that NRC would be implemented in a phased manner in other parts of the country. This is stated under the head ‘Combating Infiltration’ on Page 11 of the manifesto.
BJP’s working president JP Nadda has on 19 December 2019 stated that Citizenship Law will be implemented as well as NRC would be brought in. He made this statement at an event where he met refugees from Afghanistan. Here is a video link to that statement.
Hence, there have been multiple instances where in BJP officially and the cabinet ministers referred to the implementation of NRC across the country. PM’s claim that NRC was not discussed by his government also does not stand true since Home Minister Amit Shah has gone on record in Rajya Sabha saying that a nationwide NRC would be implemented. To conclude, the PM’s statement that NRC was never discussed by his government is misleading.
Claim: NRC was never discussed by his government since I took over as PM in 2014 – PM Narendra Modi
Fact: On multiple occasions, BJP leaders as well as Cabinet Ministers referred to a nationwide NRC. Hence, the claim of PM Narendra Modi is Misleading.
Claim 2: There are no detention centres
Multiple times during his speech on 22 December 2019, PM Narendra Modi claimed that there were no detention centres and that this is a lie which is being propagated by the opposition, specifically Indian National Congress. Here is the video link to the statement given by Narendra Modi.
Furthermore, in an interview to ANI, Amit Shah states that they have not created any new detention centers under the their government.
On 27November 2019, Dr. Santanu Sen asked a question in Rajya Sabha about the lack of facilities in detention centres.
Responding to this question, the government stated that as per the information provided by State Government of Assam, there are 6 Detention Centres in Assam as on 22 November 2019 and that 988 foreigners are lodged in them.
This is contrary to the PM’s statement that there are no detention centres in the country.
Even Amit Shah’s statement that there are no new detention centres, doesn’t match with the answers provided by the government in parliament. These answers provide a completely different picture.
Answering a question in Lok Sabha on 10 March 2015, the government stated that the State of Assam has set up 3 detentions centres.
However, as seen in the answer on 27 November 2019 there are 6 detention centres, implying that new detention centres have come up after 2015.
Furthermore, responding to another question in Rajya Sabha on 11 December 2019, it was stated that the Government has approved a new detention centres at Matia, Goalpara, Assam at an estimated cost of Rs. 46.51 crores.
Answering another question in Rajya Sabha on 24 July 2019, the government stated that a ‘Model Detention Centre Manual’ is circulated by the Central government to all the States & UTs which provides a formal procedure for setting up of detention/holding centres.
Further, there have been news reports of detention centres being built in various parts of the countries. As per few of these news reports, CIDCO ( City and Industrial Development Corporation), received a request from Maharashtra’s government.
There is also latest news that the current Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Uddhav Thackeray scrapped the decision made by the earlier government to build a detention centre. The latest statement would imply that the work towards building a detention centre was initiated.
Meanwhile, there have been media reports that the government of Karnataka recently opened the first detention centre for illegal immigrants, near Bengaluru. The Home Minister of Karnataka has earlier in October 2019 confirmed the building of detention centres for illegal immigrants.
However, recently the Home minister of Karnataka, stated that the detention centre would only be used for illegal immigrants who are accused of crimes.
To conclude,the statement made by Prime Minister that there are no detention centres in India as well as the statement made by Amit Shah that there are no new detention centres being built is False, as the answers of the government in both the houses provide information not only of the existence of detention centres but also of the plans to build new ones.
Claim: There are no detention centers in India – PM Narendra Modi.
Fact: The answers of the government in both the houses of parliament provide information not only of the existence of detention centres but also of the plans to build new ones. Hence, the claim of PM Narendra Modi is False.
Claim 3: Dr. Manmohan Singh has earlier supported CAB
BJP’s working president JP Nadda, also a member of Rajya Sabha, speaking on CAB in Rajya Sabha stated that Dr. Manmohan Singh has supported Citizen Amendment Bill earlier.
JP Nadda made the statement in reference to what Dr. Manmohan Singh spoke in the parliament on 18 December 2003. Based on this, JP Nadda asked Congress not to change its earlier stand on CAB because they are now in opposition and requested them to support the CAB. Here is the video link of what Dr. Manmohan Singh said in 2003.
This video has been shared on various social media platforms as well on mainstream media.
The verbatim statement of Dr. Manmohan Singh is in the screenshot below.
This is part of a speech by Dr. Singh during the debate in Rajya Sabha on Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2003. The 2003 bill varies from that of Citizen Amendment Bill -2019 in multiple aspects.
The Citizen Amendment Bill -2003, introduced some changes to the Citizenship act of 1955. Through this amendment , ‘illegal migrant’ was determined as any foreigner who has entered India without any valid passport or travel documents or anyone who has entered in India with a valid passport or travel documents but has stayed beyond the permitted time period.
Th amendment also defined ‘Overseas Citizen of India’, as any person of a foreign country of India origin or who was an Indian citizen immediately prior to becoming a citizen of other country.
The act further modified the provisions for ‘Citizenship by Birth’ as under
- Every person born in India on or after 26 January1950 but before 01 July 1987
- On or after 01 July 1987 but prior to commencement of CAA-2003 and either of whose parents are citizen of India at time of birth.
- Born on or after commencement of CAA -2003
It was during the discussion of this bill in Parliament, that Dr. Manmohan Singh has requested the government to even look into the case of refugees who are persecuted minorities and have come from Bangladesh.
Here, Dr. Manmohan Singh while referring to persecuted minorities may inherently refer to non-Muslim refugees from Bangladesh but does not make any specific reference to religions.
Furthermore, it was spoken in context of CAB-2003 which has different provisions compared to that of CAB-2019.
CAB-2019, is primarily about granting citizenship to persecuted minorities from the countries of Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan and belonging to any of the six (Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Jains, Buddhists and Parsi) religious communities.
Dr. Manmohan Singh also does not specifically talk about any changes to the process involved in granting citizenship to these refuges, but asks the government of the day to be more liberal in granting citizenship to these refugees. The views expressed in that discussion are not directly related to CAB-2019. At the same time, Dr. Singh did talk about a liberal approach while granting citizenship to persecuted minorities.
To conclude, Dr. Manmohan Singh did speak about the refugees & persecuted minorities in 2003. He was advocating a more liberal approach to granting them citizenship. He does not talk about specific religions and refers to Bangladesh as an example. Hence to say that Dr. Manmohan Singh supported CAA like provisions in 2003 are not entirely true. Hence this claim is only Partly True.
Claim: Dr. Manmohan Singh supported CAA like provisions in 2003 – BJP working president J P Nadda.
Fact: Dr. Manmohan Singh did speak about the refugees & persecuted minorities in 2003. He was advocating a more liberal approach to granting them citizenship. He does not talk about specific religions and refers to Bangladesh as an example. Hence to say that Dr. Manmohan Singh supported CAA like provisions in 2003 are not entirely true. Hence this claim is only Partly True.