Congress wants to bring Sharia law through the back door, says Amit Shah, targeting Digvijaya Singh on his home turf

Alleging appeasement, the Home Minister says Congress wants to implement Muslim personal law; claims that M.P. Congress leader Digvijaya Singh is the brainchild behind Congress stance on these issues

Updated - April 27, 2024 03:57 pm IST

Published - April 27, 2024 04:35 am IST - BHOPAL

Amit Shah. File

Amit Shah. File | Photo Credit: MOHD ARIF

Union Home Minister Amit Shah alleged on Friday that the Congress wanted to “bring back Muslim personal law and triple talaq” and pledged that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) would implement the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) across the entire country. 

Addressing poll rallies in Madhya Pradesh’s Guna and Rajgarh Lok Sabha constituencies, Mr. Shah said, “Read the Congress manifesto carefully. They have said that we will re-implement the Muslim personal law and triple talaq. You tell me, can this country be run by Sharia [law]? Rahul [Gandhi] baba, do whatever you want to do for appeasement. But as long as the BJP is there, we will not allow [Muslim] personal law to be implemented.”

“This country will be run by UCC, this is the spirit of our Constitution. We have brought UCC in Uttarakhand and it is [Prime Minister Narendra] Modi ji’s guarantee that we will implement UCC across the country,” the BJP leader said, on the same day that second phase polling took place.

Targeting Digvijaya

Mr. Shah also claimed that these “promises were added in the Congress manifesto on the advice of [senior Congress leader and Rajgarh candidate] Digvijaya Singh”.

“Modi ji has given first priority to [Scheduled Castes] SCs, [Scheduled Tribes] STs, and [other backward classes] OBCs in the development of this country. But the Congress says that Muslims have the first right on the resources of this country. We will not let the intentions of the Congress be fulfilled,” he said, echoing Mr. Modi’s controversial remarks at a rally in Rajasthan earlier this week.

The BJP has fielded Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia from Guna to take on the Congress’ Rao Yadvendra Singh, who had switched over from the BJP ahead of the 2023 State Assembly election. Mr. Scindia, who lost the 2019 Lok Sabha election from Guna on a Congress ticket, joined the BJP in March 2020 as he led a rebellion of more than 20 MLAs to bring down the Kamal Nath-led Congress government in the State.

Another fierce contest is expected in Rajgarh, the home constituency of Mr. Singh, a former M.P. Chief Minister and senior Congress leader. He is challenging the sitting BJP MP Rodmal Nagar. 

Both the constituencies will go to the polls in the third phase on May 7.

‘Back door entry’

At both rallies, Mr. Shah launched scathing attacks against the Congress over issues ranging from the abrogation of Article 370 and the Ram Temple to Naxalism and terrorism. 

“The Congress wants to bring in Sharia law through the back door by talking about personal law. And Diggi Raja [a popular moniker for Mr. Singh] is two steps ahead and talks about bhagwa atankwad (saffron terrorism),” he said.

“He [Mr. Singh] addresses Pakistani terrorist Hafiz Saeed as ‘sahib’. He embraces Zakir Naik. He opposes the death penalty to Afzal Guru who attacked the Parliament and also opposes the ban on the PFI [Popular Front of India],” Mr. Shah said.

The Home Minister also claimed that Madhya Pradesh had suffered from Naxalism during Mr. Singh’s tenure as CM between 1993 and 2003, adding that it was the BJP government which has now “eradicated” Naxalism from the State.

‘Home turf’

Mr. Shah also took some potshots at Mr. Singh for returning to his home parliamentary constituency after 30 years. The Congress leader, who hails from the royal family of Rajgarh’s Raghogarh, had represented the constituency from 1984-89 and 1991-94.

“What mandate are you asking for Diggi Raja? You ran away for so many years, went to Bhopal and now you have returned to Rajgarh. Ask the people here if they want you?” Mr. Shah said, adding that the word “bantadhar (ruined)” has been added to the Congress leader’s name. 

“He has come and gone many times. Now the time has come to give him a permanent farewell from politics. People of Rajgarh have to do it,” he said. “You have to ensure his defeat with a huge margin of votes. Defeat him with a lead [matching] his stature and make him sit at home,” he added.

Mr. Singh has already announced that this will be his last election as he will soon cross the age of 80 years.

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