Congress tried to give quota of Dalits, tribals to Muslims: PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi defended his remarks on “redistribution of wealth”, saying he had exposed the “vote bank and appeasement politics” of the Congress in his 90-second speech

Updated - April 23, 2024 11:01 pm IST

Published - April 23, 2024 02:07 pm IST - Jaipur

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a public meeting in Tonk district, Rajasthan on April 23, 2024. Photo: X/@BJP4Rajasthan via PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a public meeting in Tonk district, Rajasthan on April 23, 2024. Photo: X/@BJP4Rajasthan via PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 23 accused the Congress of making an attempt to reduce the reservation for Dalits, tribals and backwards and give it to Muslims in defiance of the Constitution. Mr. Modi said the Congress had launched it as a “pilot project” in Andhra Pradesh with an intention to extend it to all over the country.

“As soon as the Congress formed the government at the Centre in 2004, one of its first tasks was to reduce the SC/ST reservation in Andhra Pradesh and give the quota to Muslims. Between 2004 and 2010, the Congress made four attempts to introduce Muslim reservation in that State, but it could not succeed because of legal impediments and the Supreme Court’s alertness,” Mr. Modi said at an election rally in Rajasthan’s Tonk district.

Also read | A fact-check on Modi’s speech in Rajasthan about Muslims and Manmohan Singh

Mr. Modi defended his recent remarks on “redistribution of wealth”, saying he had exposed the “vote bank and appeasement politics” of the Congress in his 90-second speech. “The Congress has hatched a deep conspiracy to snatch people’s wealth and distribute it among the select people,” he said, adding that his exposure had created so much panic in the Congress and the INDIA bloc that their leaders were abusing him everywhere.

“It is written in their manifesto that they will survey the wealth. Their leader said publicly that the wealth will be detected with X-ray. When Modi exposed the secret, your hidden agenda was revealed, and you are trembling… We are ready to confront you,” the Prime Minister said.

The Prime Minister said when the Congress was in power, it was difficult for the people to practise their faith. “Even listening to Hanuman Chalisa becomes a crime under the Congress rule,” Mr. Modi said, while referring to an alleged assault on a shopkeeper in Congress-ruled Karnataka when he was listening to devotional songs of Lord Hanuman inside his shop.

During the Congress rule in Rajasthan, those who hurled stones on the Ram Navami processions were given protection and the processions were banned, Mr. Modi said. “After the formation of the BJP government in the State, no one can dare to question the faith [of the people],” he said, adding that the BJP would give the guarantee for peaceful recitation of Hanuman Chalisa and celebration of Ram Navami.

On the issue of reservation, Mr. Modi said an attempt was made to extend the quota facility to Muslims at the national level in 2011 by cutting into the reservation meant for Dalits and backward classes. “Amid all these conspiracies, Modi is giving you a guarantee with an open heart that reservation for Dalits and backward tribals will neither be abolished nor will it be allowed to be divided in the name of religion,” he said.

The Prime Minister said he had extended the reservation for Dalits and tribals for 10 years in 2020 when the constitutional limit for the quota was ending. He said the BJP government, when elected in Karnataka, had abolished the Muslim reservation which was created by snatching the share of the SC and ST communities.

Questioning the track record of the Congress on national security and public issues, Mr. Modi said if the party had been in power after 2014, the enemy would have continued to attack from across the border and beheaded the soldiers, while the initiatives like One Rank One Pension might not have been implemented. The provision of free ration and vaccines during the pandemic might not have been realised, and the nation could have faced outcry due to inflationary pressures if the Congress was elected to power, he said.

The Prime Minister said the BJP government in Rajasthan had started implementing welfare schemes on a large scale within a few days after coming to power. The new government’s works included a prompt approval for the much-awaited Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project, which would benefit the Tonk-Sawai Madhopur Lok Sabha constituency, while the Centre was assisting the State in the development of modern infrastructure, Mr. Modi said.

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