The Congress on Sunday rejected Prime Minister Narendra Modi's charge that the Opposition was 'inciting' people, and alleged that an environment of fear and uncertainty has been created by Union Home Minister Amit Shah's statement in Parliament that the National Register of Citizens will be implemented after the Citizenship Amendment Act.
"The home minister's statement in both the houses (on implementing NRC post CAA) has created an environment of fear, insecurity and uncertainty. It is primarily the government which is responsible for that," senior Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma said.
Countering the prime minister's statement that there are no detention centres in the country, Sharma said, "They are present in India.
"People are being kept there. Those people, who fought for us in Kargil War, have also been sent to those detention centres and the media showed it."
"Even international media has made films of those detention centres and showed how in five rooms, 600 persons are being kept in Assam. Kids have been separated from their mothers. Families have been torn apart," he said a press conference in New Delhi.
At a time when protests are being held across the country against the CAA and the NRC, Sharma said the prime minister should provide a 'healing touch' and if he is 'sensitive and serious', he should call a meeting of chief ministers of all the states at the National Integration Council (NIC) to discuss this matter.
On the PM's charge that the Opposition parties, including the Congress, are spreading lies and inciting people on the NRC and the CAA, he said, "The prime minister should speak responsibly. The Indian National Congress as the main opposition party, and the other opposition parties, they have the right to speak on people's issues and country's issues. This is also our responsibility."
"This unsafe and uncertain environment was created by the government due to its hurry.
"The complete responsibility lies with the government....Only prime minister can improve the situation in the country," the Congress spokesperson added.
Neither any Congress office-bearer nor any of its branches have participated anywhere in any violent protests in the country, he claimed.
"The Congress has always opposed any form of violence," he added.
Sharma said this situation has been created as Home Minister Amit Shah said in both the houses of Parliament that the government is bringing the NRC in the whole country.
"This is neither the Congress party's statement nor that of the Opposition parties," he clarified.
"It is the government's responsibility to listen to people and clear their doubts. This matter (regarding NRC and CAA) is being heard in the Supreme Court. The Constitution Bench will hear it, so the government should wait and not implement it," he added.
Those who question the government or criticise it are being labelled as if they are not Indians and the national interests are not close to their hearts, Sharma alleged.
"This is not in the interest of Indian democracy...the prime minister and his ministers should refrain from that (labelling)," he added.
"Right now, the complete attention of the Indian government should be on economy that is in tatters. At this time, no other discussion should be done.
"If you look at the kind of narrative there is in the country today, we find that the attention from the real issues has been diverted," Sharma said.
On Prime Minister Modi's remark made at a rally in Jharkhand last week that those indulging in arson during the anti-CAA protests 'can be identified by their clothes', he said, "There have been occasions when during elections the prime minister has made highly objectionable and provocative statements. He has mastered the art of double speak, I would say."
"Citizens are citizens, it is not for the prime minister to label them because of what they wear," he added.