Lok Sabha Elections 2024: The Battle For India Becomes Shriller By The Day

PM Modi criticised his political rivals Congress and SP for indulging in appeasement of Muslims for political gains and said they had not done anything for the community’s upliftment.

PTI Photo
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses a public meeting for Lok Sabha elections, in Aligarh, Monday, April 22, 2024. PTI Photo

The opposition has lashed out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for delivering a “hate speech” against the Indian Muslims in Rajasthan’s Banswara, two days after the conclusion of the first phase of Lok Sabha elections.

Modi alleged that in their poll manifesto, the Congress party had promised redistribution of wealth among “Muslims” or those “who have more kids” ( jinke zyada bachchhe hain).

The BJP leader also warned “mothers and sisters” of the Congress party’s alleged intentions of taking away their “mangalsutras” to give it to the Muslims.

"The leaders who have left Congress are saying one thing: It is not the Congress of before, it is now trapped in the clutches of the Leftists and urban Naxals...look at their manifesto, what Congress has said in its manifesto is serious and worrying. They have said that if they form a government then a survey of property belonging to every person will be conducted," Modi said.

Congress party president Mallikarjun Kharge called out PM Modi for his “baseless references” and “false accusations” and termed it as a ploy to divert attention.

In a post shared on X, Kharge said, “Today Modi ji's panic-filled speech showed that INDIA is winning in the first phase results. What Modi ji said is not only a hate speech but also a well thought out ploy to divert attention. Today the Prime Minister did what he has learnt from the values ​​of the Sangh.”

What does the Congress poll manifesto say about wealth redistribution?

While Modi claimed the Congress party was eyeing people’s wealth to distribute it among “infiltrators”, the Congress members have denied allegations.

In their manifesto titled “Nyay Patra”, the only instance where inequality of wealth is mentioned is under the economy section. It states, “We will address the growing inequality of wealth and income through suitable changes in policies.”

Congress Media and Publicity Department Chairman Pawan Khera said in a video message, “I challenge PM Modi to find the word ‘Hindu’ or ‘Muslim’ anywhere in Congress’ manifesto.

“The Congress manifesto has talked about ‘Nyay’, nyay for youth, nyay for women, nyay for adivasi, nyay for workers and the PM has an objection to that. And why will he not have any objection, our Nyay Patra shows the mirror to him and shows him what he has done in ten years,” he said.

Earlier this month Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had promised a survey to run a check on who possesses the wealth in the country to determine the growing wealth inequality and said that the party would come up with policies for equitable wealth redistribution.

"First, we will conduct a caste census to know the exact population and status of backward castes, SCs, STs, minorities and other castes. After that, the financial and institutional survey will begin. Subsequently, we will take up the historic assignment to distribute the wealth of India, jobs and other welfare schemes to these sections based on their population," he had said.

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh hit out at PM Modi’s “objectionable statement” and said it was an insult to the entire Muslim community across the world.

“At the international level, this has hurt the secular and democratic identity of the country. This is a very objectionable statement, which cannot be forgiven,” he added.

While Tamil Nadu CM M K Stalin condemned Modi’s speech calling it “vile and highly deplorable”.

“Fearing public anger against his failures, Modi has attempted to whip up religious sentiments and resorted to hate speech to avoid what seems to be an imminent defeat. Hate and discrimination are the real guarantees of Modi,” he said in a post shared on X.

Congress leader P Chidambaram said, “I cannot recall that any other prime minister had made such outrageous statements like PM Modi did at Jalore & Banswara in Rajasthan yesterday.”

PM Modi and Muslims

On Sunday PM Modi came under fire for his speech allegedly inciting hate against the Muslim community, and on Monday, while addressing a rally in Aligarh, PM Modi said it was due to his efforts that his “Muslim brothers and sisters” are able to fulfil their dream of going for Hajj”.

Modi said he had requested Saudi Arabia crown prince to increase Hajj quota and it was due to that that more and more Indian Muslims could perform Hajj.

Modi also criticised his political rivals Congress and SP for indulging in appeasement of Muslims for political gains and said they had not done anything for the community’s upliftment.

Modi also mentioned his work for upliftment of Pasmanda Muslim community and said it was his government that had been able to “secure those muslim womens’ lives” by creating a law against the triple talaq rule.

Modi is currently campaigning for the phase two constituencies which go to polls on April 26.