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Modi’s speech on CAA — Hindu says it’s a ‘twist’, TOI calls it ‘spirited response’

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Mainstream newspapers Monday lead with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally at the Ramlila Maidan in Delhi Sunday, where he assured protesters that Indian Muslims have no reason to fear either the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) or the National Register of Citizens (NRC).

Headlines, in all mainstream newspapers, focus on the fact that PM Modi claimed no discussion was held by his government on a nationwide NRC — “Pan-India NRC never on the table, says PM” (The Hindu), “No rules framed for all-India NRC; in Assam it was SC-mandated: PM” (The Times of India); “No discussion on NRC in House, Cabinet yet: Modi” (Hindustan Times) and “PM: No talk of NRC at all, lies being spread about detention centres” (The Indian Express). The Telegraph chooses a dramatic headline, “Just who are you calling a liar, PM?”

All papers, except HT, carry reports on the protests against the CAA in Uttar Pradesh where over 15 were killed due to police firing on Page 1.

PM Modi’s rally: Hindu calls Modi’s comments “a twist to the raging controversy” and writes that his remarks “fly in the face of Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s statement in the Lok Sabha on 9 December: ‘We are very clear that NRC will happen in this country’”.

TOI calls the speech a “spirited response” to the aggressive anti-CAA protests. It adds that Modi also “launched a ferocious attack on Congress and its allies for inflaming the passions by spreading rumours and lies”.

In an accompanying report, “Reality check: Before PM’s distancing, there was Shah’s underlining”, Express lists out the various public statements made by senior ministers and BJP leaders on a pan-India NRC. It notes the most recent comment was made as early as this month.

Anti-CAA protests in UP: “The death toll in firing in Uttar Pradesh during the recent protests has mounted to 18”, reports Hindu, but adds that the “Director-General of Police O.P. Singh told the newspapers that the toll was 15”.

Express, on the other hand, quotes a senior police official and reports that “fourteen of the 16 persons who were killed during protests…succumbed to firearms injuries”. In a ground report from Rampur and Sambhal, Express writes that the families of the victims are “struggling to come to terms with…the apathy and negligence that shunted them (the victims) from one hospital to another, and pleading with police for hours to hand over the bodies”.

TOI notes that “a video purportedly shot in Kanpur Saturday showing a policeman raising his gun to open fire amid sounds of gunshots…has raised questions about the repeated claims” made by UP DGP Singh that not a single bullet was fired on anti-CAA protesters.

Others: HT and Hindu both report that the verdict for the Jharkhand assembly elections will be announced Monday.

HT reports “the Fifteenth Finance Commission (FFC) has suggested the Goods and Services Tax Council to simplify tax rates by creating just three slabs”.

In an exclusive interview, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das told Hindu that the recent spike in food inflation looks transient “but added that the central bank needed to wait for a confirmation of this”.


HT: In ‘The onus is on the BJP in UP’, HT writes that the anti-CAA protests have “taken the highest toll on life in Uttar Pradesh” with over 15 people reportedly dead. The newspaper argues that the protests are a result of a series of events, including repeated instances of lynching and consistent hate speech against the Muslim community that has “created a sullen mood”. It adds that in a democracy “community-based mobilisation is legitimate”, so are protests “as long as they are peaceful”.

While the protesters lost “moral authority” by vandalising public property, HT writes that the “fault for the violence in UP lies with the government”. The newspaper recommends that the “Yogi government must reach out to Muslims, allay apprehensions… and restore order, but within the framework of law”.

TOI: In ‘Curtain Raiser’, TOI argues that the Jharkhand assembly elections “could presage 2020’s political season”. The newspaper writes that currently “a headache” for the BJP is the manner in which “allies like JD(U), LJP, Akali Dal and ‘neutral’ parties like the BJD are distancing themselves after the NRC fiasco”.

It adds that “with two key assembly elections in Delhi and Bihar slated for 2020, the BJP will need all the help it can get.”

TOI further argues that “Shiv Sena’s defection to UPA and the loss of key states to Congress is creating new power dynamics where regional parties are gaining in influence”.

Prime Time

PM Modi’s rally was the highlight of the prime time. ‘Modi ne toda bhram jaal’ (Modi busted all myths), declared Zee News, while anchor Chitra Tripathi on Aaj Tak described Modi’s speech as ‘bahkave mein na aao, apni akal lagao’ (don’t fall for rumours, use your brains).

The English channels, on the other hand, attempted to analyse the CAA protests. Arnab Goswami on Republic asked ‘#WhoProvokesIndia — Is there a campaign to provoke using CAA & NRC?’ On CNN-News18, Maha Siddiqui decoded PM Modi’s speech and NDTV 24×7 debated the Opposition’s reaction to it.

India TV called his speech ‘direct and correct’ and claimed that the PM gave answers to all the questions.

Meanwhile, Zee News showed the ‘reality of Jamia protests’ with some CCTV footage of  violence, claiming to be from Jamia. They also showed visuals of pro-CAA rallies held in some cities.

Zee News: On Modi’s speech, BJP’s Vijay Sonkar Shastri said that the PM cleared all the misconceptions.

Analyst Vikas Gupta targeted Amit Shah, saying, “He himself said in the Parliament that there will be an NRC. Now, why is Modi ji refusing to accept that?”

Social activist and right-wing supporter Subuhi Khan said that this is a wake up call for Indian Muslims. “The political parties with vested interests want that a Muslim should always be scared,” she added.

India Today: On the #CAAProtests, anchor Shiv Aroor asked if PM Modi’s speech would douse the CAA fire.

BJP Delhi vice-President Shazia Ilmi said, “There was a lot of demagoguery and fear-mongering done and poor Muslims were targeted. They were made part of a conspiracy where they were incited to come on the streets and made to feel insecure by something that did not exist.”

Political analyst Touseef Khan replied, “There is no truth to the statement that all these (protests) are based on hate for Narendra Modi. It is actually a love for the country and the Constitution.”

Times Now: On the Special Edition of #NewsHour, anchor Navika Kumar interviewed Union Law and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.

Kumar asked about the crisis in the telecom sector: “MTNL & BSNL — what should be shut down are still running, while Airtel, Vodafone are close to a shutdown. Can you explain this?”

Prasad explained, “BSNL and MTNL are strategic assets, they provide free service in the times of cyclones, floods, earthquakes. Regarding the private sector, there are causes of concern, but we are doing our best for them.”

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  1. Neither HM or Namo both are liars . Neither of them is honest & sincere , to believe them so far as CAA & NRC or even such problems which give them popularity such as Mandir ,Start ups .

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