Modi again accuses Cong of trying to distribute wealth to 'select' people

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses a public meeting. Photo: PTI

New Delhi: Amid a row over his 'redistribution of wealth' remarks, Prime Minister Narendra Modi again charged that the Congress was hatching a "deep conspiracy" to snatch people's wealth and distribute it among "select" people.

He also claimed that Congress tried to extend reservation based on religion and give it to Muslims. Modi also charged that it was difficult to follow one's faith under the Congress and that even listening to Hanuman Chalisa (a hymn in praise of Lord Hanuman) becomes a crime under that party's rule.

His specific reference to the Lord came on a day when large parts of the country are celebrating the Hanuman Jayanti.

Addressing an election rally at Tonk in Rajasthan, Modi claimed that the Congress-led government in 2004 reduced the SC/ST reservation in Andhra Pradesh and gave that quota to Muslims. “Modi is giving you a guarantee with an open heart that reservation for Dalits and backward tribal people will neither end nor will it be allowed to be divided in the name of religion," he said.

Asserting that he understands the Constitution, Modi said he is dedicated to the Constitution and is a person who worships B R Ambedkar.

Modi said the then prime minister Manmohan Singh had given a speech in which he had said that Muslims have the first right to the resources of the country. "This was not a coincidence. This is not a single statement. Congress' ideology has always been of appeasement and vote bank politics. As soon as the Congress formed the government at the Centre in 2004, one of the first things it did was to reduce the SC/ST reservation in Andhra Pradesh and give it to Muslims," he said.

"This was a pilot project which the Congress wanted to try in the entire country. Between 2004 and 2010, the Congress tried to implement Muslim reservation in Andhra Pradesh four times but due to legal hurdles and the awareness of the Supreme Court, it could not fulfil its intention," he said.

"In 2011, the Congress tried to implement it throughout the country. They played a game of snatching away the rights given to SC, ST and OBC and giving them to others for vote bank politics. The Congress did this deliberately and without caring about the Constitution and B R Ambedkar," he said.

"I want to ask the Congress will it declare that will it divide the reservation for Dalits and backward tribals and give it to Muslims," he said.

Congress has already pointed out that Modi has misinterpreted the former prime minister's words. In a speech given at the 52nd meeting of the National Development Council, Singh spoke about collective priorities. He said sectors like agriculture, irrigation, water resources, health and education should be developed 'along with programmes for the upliftment of SC/STs, other backward classes, minorities, and women and children.'

"We will have to devise innovative plans to ensure that minorities, particularly the Muslim minority, are empowered to share equitably in the fruits of development. They must have the first claim on resources," Singh had added.

However, Modi claimed he has exposed the Congress' vote bank politics. “Why is the Congress scared of the truth and hiding its policies? You have made the policy and taken the decision and when Modi exposed the secret and your hidden agenda came out, you are trembling," he said.

"It is written in their manifesto that they will survey the wealth. Their leader had said in a speech that an X-ray of wealth would be done. This means that if something is kept in a box or hidden in a wall, it will be searched through X-ray. Then they will capture all your property which is more than required and then distribute it among the people," he said.

At a rally in Rajasthan on Sunday, Modi had said that if the Congress came to power, it would redistribute the wealth of people to "infiltrators" and those who have more children, and cited former PM Manmohan Singh's remark that the minority community had the first claim on the country's resources.

(With PTI inputs)

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