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Modi, Shah using 'trishul' to attack opponents, says Ramesh

Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Wednesday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah of using the "trishul" of Enforcement Directorate, CBI and Income Tax to attack their opponents.

He also charged Shah with using the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) as "political instruments to divide the country and polarise society on religious lines".

Ramesh was here as part of the six-member Congress team set up by AICC president Sonia Gandhi to meet party workers and people in the eight Northeastern states on the NRC and CAB.

Congress General Secretary Mukul Wasnik and former Uttarakhand chief minister and party in-charge of Assam- Harish Rawat- were present with Ramesh at the press conference.

"Modi and Amit Shah have found a new instrument - the trishul - against their opponents", Ramesh told reporters here.

"What are the three points of the trishul. They are ED, CBI and Income Tax. They keep using the three points to poke their opponents", asserted the former union minister.

The Rajya Sabha MP said his Congress opposes it and the party will continue to do so guided by the Constitution.

The government had on Tuesday removed Ramesh and Congressmen Mallikarjun Kharge and Karan Singh as members of Nehru Memorial Museum and Library Society while reconstituting it.

Ramesh asserted "Amit Shah talks about NRC and CAB as political instruments to divide the country and polarise society on religious lines which goes against the very basics of the Constitution".

"We will take a position on the issue inside the Parliament and outside guided by the Constitution", the Rajya Sabha MP said.

"Shah is now not talking about NRC in Assam but in Delhi, West Bengal, Haryana, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Karnataka and other places as BJP's lie is exposed. Haryana and Maharashtra gave a reply to Amit Shah's rhetoric", Ramesh claimed.

"NRC was a Congress creation. We believe NRC was legal due to the peculiar situation in Assam. It is also mentioned in the Assam Accord 1985. It was in the tripartite meeting in 2005 between then prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh, All Assam Students Union and Assam government that steps were taken to implement NRC", the former union minister said.

Assam is the only state in India to have an NRC with the first one in 1951 and the updated one this year.

Pointing out NRC is an instrument for identifying Indian citizens, Jairam Ramesh said, "Congress is the original architect of NRC in 1951. Narendra Modi and Amit Shah are now using NRC to divide the country".

On CAB, he said the Congress opposes it "as it is anti- secular and goes against the preamble of the Constitution. It violates Article 14 (right to equality) and 21 (liberty). India is a secular country and CAB goes against it".