Amit Shah backs PM Modi’s comment, says Congress eyeing wealth held by monasteries and temples

Like PM, Home Minister too referenced the same 2006 speech made by Manmohan Singh about Muslims having “first claim on country’s resources” and asked if Congress manifesto talked about surveying everyone’s property or not  

Updated - April 22, 2024 07:50 pm IST

Published - April 22, 2024 02:23 pm IST - RAIPUR

Union Home Minister Amit Shah addresses an election rally.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah addresses an election rally. | Photo Credit: ANI

Amid the row over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s claim that the Congress’s election manifesto promised distribution of property, land, and gold to Muslims if elected, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on April 22 pushed the argument further by suggesting that the party was eyeing the wealth held by monasteries and temples in the country. 

At an election rally in support of BJP candidate Bhojraj Nag in Chhattisgarh’s Kanker, Mr. Shah aggressively defended the remarks made by Mr. Modi in Rajasthan on Sunday. Like the Prime Minister, he too referenced the same 2006 speech made by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh about Muslims having “the first claim on the country’s resources” and asked if the Congress manifesto talked about surveying everyone’s property or not.  

Also read | More than Naxal conflict, expansion of railways, connectivity issues drive campaign in Kanker

“[Former Congress president] Rahul [Gandhi] Baba please clarify in the name of the country and Manmohan Singh, your Prime Minister, had said that the minority has the first right on resources, tribals, not Dalits. Brothers and sisters, the property belonging to monasteries and temples across the country, and everyone, that is being eyed, where will that money go? Remember Manmohan Singh, he said that the minority has the first right on money, revenue and resources,” Mr. Shah said. 

Earlier on Sunday, Mr. Modi had said that the Congress had announced that it would conduct a survey to find out the property of individuals, gold owned by women, silver mostly owned by tribal families, and land and cash belonging to government employees and others and redistribute it and repeated the remarks at a rally in Aligarh a day later. During the campaigning for last year’s Madhya Pradesh elections too, Mr. Shah had evoked Dr. Singh’s 2006 speech to allege that while in power, the Congress government remained engrossed in minority appeasement.  

Taking a dig at the Opposition bloc, Mr. Modi said that even before coming to power, a scuffle had emerged in Ranchi between the Congress and the Rashtriya Janata Dal of the INDIA alliance. “Those who do not have unity among themselves cannot maintain the unity of the country. Be it northeast, Kashmir or Naxal-affected areas, Modi ji has worked to unite the entire country and make it united,” he said.

Security challenges

The Home Minister praised Mr. Modi’s track record in tackling security challenges and said the latter had completely eliminated terrorism from the country and brought Naxalism to the verge of extinction. He also mentioned the recent successes the security forces have had against the Maoists in Chhattisgarh, attributing it to a change in State government. 

“The Mahadev app scandal continued for five years under the rule of Chief Minister [and Congress leader] Bhupesh Baghel. Within just four months, the Chhattisgarh government of the BJP has eliminated more than 90 Naxalites. About 123 people have been arrested, 250 people have surrendered. Today Naxalism has been completely eradicated from Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Bihar, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh. In the coming two years, the Modi government will root out Naxalism from Chhattisgarh,” he said. 

Mr. Shah said that as long as Naxalism existed, there could not be peace, roads, electricity, education, gas, jobs, food and treatment in tribal areas.

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