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regular-article-logo Thursday, 23 May 2024

Modi renews 'redistribution of wealth' attack against Congress; Cong seeks EC action against PM

Rejecting the allegations that has triggered a political row, AICC general secretary in-charge of the organisation K C Venugopal said party chief Mallikarjun Kharge has sought an appointment with the prime minister to 'educate him' about its poll promise document

PTI New Delhi Published 22.04.24, 08:45 PM
Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. File picture.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday renewed his "redistribution of wealth" attack against the Congress even as the opposition party urged the Election Commission to take action against him for his alleged communal remarks made a day earlier at a poll rally.

Modi while slamming the Congress manifesto at a rally in Rajasthan's Banswara on Sunday alleged that the opposition party was planning to give people's hard-earned money and valuables to "infiltrators" and "those who have more children" and referred to former PM Manmohan Singh's speech in 2006 to contend he had said that Muslims have the “first claim” on the country's resources.

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Rejecting the allegations that has triggered a political row, AICC general secretary in-charge of the organisation K C Venugopal said party chief Mallikarjun Kharge has sought an appointment with the prime minister to "educate him" about its poll promise document.

The Congress while urging the Election Commission to take action against Modi for his "redistribution of wealth" remarks made in Rajasthan, alleged they were 'divisive', 'malicious' and targeted a particular religious community.

A delegation of Congress leaders met the top brass of the EC in Delhi and handed over complaints against the prime minister, alleging that he has trampled upon and violated the model code and directions of the poll body.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan also termed Modi's remarks as "anti-national" and urged the EC to take action against him.

The BJP on its part said the prime minister has called a spade a spade and has echoed people's sentiments.

BJP spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia told reporters that the opposition is in pain as Modi has showed them the mirror.

In Aligarh, a western Uttar Pradesh’s constituency with a sizeable Muslim population, Modi on Monday accused the Congress again of planning to redistribute people’s property if it is voted to power, but stopped short of saying that the wealth would go to Muslims Modi further said he wanted to “alert” people about the “intentions” of the Congress and the opposition INDIA bloc.

"The Congress “shahzade” (prince) says if his government comes, they will investigate who earns how much and how much property they have. Not only this, he further says the government will take over the property and redistribute it. This is what their election manifesto is saying," he claimed, referring to Rahul Gandhi.

"Just think, our mothers and daughters have gold. This is ‘stridhan’ (women’s property). It is considered sacred, even the law protects it. But now they are eyeing a change in law and snatching the property of our mothers and sisters,” he told an election rally.

“These people have their eyes on their ‘mangalsutras’,” Modi added, accusing the opposition of trying to “steal” the gold women possessed.

He claimed that the opposition planned to conduct a survey of the property owned by salaried people. “If you own two homes, it will snatch one - the Congress will go that far,” he said.

"This is Maoist thinking... this is communist thinking. By doing this they have ruined so many countries. Now the Congress and the INDI Alliance want to implement the same policy in India,” the prime minister said.

But, unlike in the Rajasthan speech that triggered the opposition charge of “hate speech”, Modi stopped short of saying that the wealth will be distributed among Muslims. He also did not refer to Manmohan Singh’s 2006 statement.

Modi said the Congress and the SP followed a policy of “appeasement” without doing anything for the social and economic progress of Muslims, and also referred to the Pasmanda Muslims - the backward sections among the community.

In contrast, he cited the enactment of a law against instant triple talaq and an increase in the Haj quota as moves during the BJP-led NDA government’s term to help the community.

“The lives of a number of daughters were ruined due to triple talaq. We made a law against it and made the future of the daughters secure." Attacking the opposition, Modi said the 'parivarwadi' people have created empires by “looting” people and not giving anything to the poor from their “immense wealth”.

“Now their eyes have fallen on the property of people of the country. The Congress considers it as their birthright to loot people's wealth," he charged.

Taking exception to Modi’s “redistribute the wealth” remarks, Telangana Chief Minister A Revanth Reddy claimed the prime minister is speaking out of fear of defeat.

Congress leader P Chidambaram said he cannot recall any other PM having made such "outrageous statements" with each sentence outdoing the previous one in its "absolute falsehood and brazen mendacity".

Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) chief Sukhbir Singh Badal condemned the remarks, saying he should never have made such a statement which spread "communal hatred".

Rajya Sabha MP Kapil Sibal said political discourse has never sunk to such a low in India's history and urged the Election Commission to take action in the matter.

In an exclusive interview to PTI, PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti, a former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, claimed that Modi’s remarks were an indication that the BJP was on a sticky wicket.

Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut said it is "disheartening" when a senior leader like PM Modi makes such comments.

Aam Aadmi Party(AAP) MP Sanjay Singh claimed that Modi’s remarks showed that he has realised he is losing the Lok Sabha elections immediately after the first phase of the polls.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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