Cong's plan to reduce inequality in society 'will not spare mangalsutra of my mothers, sisters': PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses during an election campaign rally ahead of Lok Sabha polls, in Meerut, Sunday, March 31, 2024. Photo: PTI
  • Congress will collect gold of mothers and sisters and give it to Muslims, says Modi in Rajasthan election speech
  • The Congress manifesto does not speak of taking over private assets, it talks of distributing the country's jobs and wealth after the caste census

Rajasthan: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday raked up the bogey of Muslim population and portrayed Congress as a "mangalsutra snatcher" to criticise the opposition party's declared policy to reduce inequality in society.

Addressing an election rally in Rajasthan's Banswara, Modi alleged that the "Congress would take stock of the gold ornaments owned by our sisters, money owned by government employees... Not only that, it has gone ahead and said that the gold and other assets of our sisters will be distributed equally".

"Does the government have the right to usurp your assets?... The gold of our mothers and sisters is not just to show off. The jewellery is linked to their self-respect," said Modi.

"You cannot put a price on her mangalsutra. It is linked to her dreams.

Are you talking of snatching the mangalsutra in your manifesto?" the Prime Minister said.

When the Congress had its government, it said Muslims have the first claim on the country's assets, Modi said referring to a 2006 speech made by the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

"That means, they will gather the assets and distribute them to whom? The assets will be distributed to those having more children," Modi said and paused for the crowd, including women, to go into a frenzy.

"They will distribute the assets to intruders," he said after the pause. "Should your hard-earned money be given to intruders?"
No, screamed the crowd.
"Is that acceptable to you?"
No, screamed the crowd.

"This is in the Congress's manifesto. They will take stock of the gold jewellery of mothers and sisters, collect information and then distribute the wealth. And it will be distributed as Manmohan Singh's government said Muslims had the first claim on the country's assets," said the Prime Minister in his election speech.

"My mothers and sisters, this thought of urban naxals, will not spare your mangalsutra (tali)," he said. "They will go to that extent," he said.

What does the Congress manifesto say?
In the 48-page Congress manifesto, there is no mention of the government taking over private assets or gold or mangalsutra.

But it comes hard on the inequality in society. Under the headline 'Social Justice', the Congress said: "While OBC, SC and ST constitute nearly 70 per cent of India’s population, their representation in high-ranking professions, services and businesses is disproportionately low. No progressive modern society should tolerate such inequality or discrimination based on ancestry and the consequent denial of equal opportunity.

Congress will bridge historical inequities by implementing the following programme: The Congress said it would conduct a nationwide socio-economic and caste census to enumerate the castes and sub-castes and their socio-economic conditions. Based on the data, we will strengthen the agenda for affirmative action.

In point 7, it said the Congress will establish an authority to monitor the distribution of government land and surplus land to the poor. "We will address the growing inequality of wealth and income through suitable changes in policies," the Congress manifesto said.

It said the inequality between the rich on the one hand and the poor and the middle classes on the other have increased sharply dealing a body blow to the goals of equality, equity, and social and economic justice.

Citing a report titled 'Income and Wealth Inequality in India, 1922-2023: The Rise of the Billionaire Raj' by leading global economists, including Thomas Piketty, the Congress manifesto said that India under Prime Minister Narendra Modi is more unequal than even under the British Raj. "The rise of inequality has been particularly pronounced between 2014 and 2023," it said.

Last week, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also said if his party formed the Union government, a caste census would be conducted and after that, the financial and institutional survey would be conducted. "Subsequently, we will take up the historic assignment to distribute the wealth of India (not private wealth), jobs, and other welfare schemes to these sections based on their population," he said. 

The comments posted here/below/in the given space are not on behalf of Onmanorama. The person posting the comment will be in sole ownership of its responsibility. According to the central government's IT rules, obscene or offensive statement made against a person, religion, community or nation is a punishable offense, and legal action would be taken against people who indulge in such activities.