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Congress asks Modi not to hoodwink people, Trinamool Congress questions him on NRC implementation

Prime Minister Narendra Modi discussed mob lynchings, the National Register of Citizens and job statistics with news agency ANI in an interview on Saturday.

Several Opposition parties on Sunday criticised the claims Prime Minister Narendra Modi made in his interview to new agency ANI, and accused him of misleading the public. The Congress alleged that the prime minister had “mixed statistics” from the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation and employment statistics.

Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera quoted figures put out by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy, a private sector research unit, to point out that 1.26 crore people lost their jobs after the government demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes in November 2016. Khera claimed Modi did not contest the International Labour Organisation’s data, which indicates that the number of unemployed people will rise to 18.9 million in 2019.

Khera said Modi could not highlight even three of his government’s achievements. “He [Modi] said he cannot,” the Congress leader added. “That is the only honest admission in these interviews. He could not speak about his three achievements even after four years in power. He is the Prime Minister, he can not hoodwink the country like this. Do not play with statistics.”

Trinamool Congress leader Derek O’Brien challenged Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government to answer why more than 40 lakh people had been excluded from the final draft of the National Register of Citizens. The Trinamool Congress leader was responding to Modi’s statement that no Indian citizen will have to leave India.

“Why are about 40 lakh names of Indian citizens not listed in NRC?” O’Brien tweeted. “Of this, about 99% are Indian citizens. If this is not true, then why did Central government send about 400 companies to Assam? Is it to mute the protesters’ voices? Please answer.”

In the interview, Modi said even a single incident of mob lynching was “one too many” and “deeply unfortunate”. Reacting to this, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said she hoped that Modi would stick to his promise of taking action against those responsible.

“Mob lynching has become the dominant discourse and its near normalisation has marked a new low for democracy in India,” she tweeted. “I hope the PM’s statement condemning it is followed by concrete steps and punitive punishment against the culprits.”

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