INDIA snatching quota to aid those who do ‘vote jihad’: PM

Prime Minister says INDIA bloc wants to accept the servitude of their alleged vote bank; raises reservation issue for SC/ST/OBCs while praising Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for the State’s development

Updated - May 26, 2024 03:08 am IST

Published - May 25, 2024 01:55 pm IST - PATNA

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Vijay Kumar Sinha and LJP (Ram Vilas) chief Chirag Paswan during a public meeting for Lok Sabha elections, in Patna district, on May 25, 2024.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Vijay Kumar Sinha and LJP (Ram Vilas) chief Chirag Paswan during a public meeting for Lok Sabha elections, in Patna district, on May 25, 2024. | Photo Credit: PTI

On the day polling in eight seats in Bihar was going on, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 25 addressed three public meetings in Bihar, including one in Patliputra Lok Sabha constituency, and assured Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Class (OBC) people that he would not let anyone snatch their share of reservation.

He also promised that everyone would get free electricity in the country and slammed Opposition INDIA (Indian National Development Inclusive Alliance) bloc leaders for being known as “communal, casteist and dynastic” people.

“Our Constitution says no reservation can be given on the basis of religion but this INDI alliance people have snatched the SC/ST/ OBC reservation and gave it to their vote bank who do vote jihad,” Mr. Modi said at his first public meeting held at Bikram in Patliputra Lok Sabha constituencywhere BJP leader and two-time sitting MP Ram Kripal Yadav is contesting against Misa Bharti, the elder daughter of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad.

“In West Bengal, 77 Muslim castes were given benefits of OBC reservation in government jobs. Rights of OBC/EBC families were snatched for those practising vote jihad. If the INDI bloc wants to accept the servitude of their vote bank, they’re free to do so…if they want to perform mujra (traditional Indian musical dance), they’re free to do so,” the Prime Minister added.

Also read | India General Elections 2024 Phase 6 updates, May 25

“But as long as Modi is alive, he will not let it happen,” he asserted. “This is Modi’s guarantee. I’ll not let the SC/ ST/ OBC reservation get snatched away. As for Modi, the Constitution is above all,” he said.

“These Congress, RJD and INDI allies have done big betrayal against SC/ST and OBC people,” he charged further. “They’ve committed robbery on their reservation quota,” Mr. Modi alleged while taking few names of castes belonging to such categories.

Later, reacting to the PM’s comments, RJD leader and Rajya Sabha member Manoj Jha said he was worried about what Mr. Modi said in the public meeting. “I’m worried about him now. Till yesterday, we disagreed with him but now we’re worried about him. I had recently said that he (Modi) is becoming a victim of delusion of grandeur. Machli (fish), mutton, mangalsutra (sacred thread) and now mujra…is this the language of a PM?” asked Mr. Jha.

Hitting out at the INDIA bloc leaders, Mr. Modi said: “They are known for three things. They are communal, casteist and dynasts.” “They first think of their family. Can such people do better for Bihar?” asked the PM. “Apna kaam banta... mein jaye Janata (our job is being done and let people go to...),” Mr. Modi said uttering a common phrase from the dais and the gathered crowd replied back in unison by filling in the sentence.

Further, Mr. Modi also assured people that in the next five years, everyone, irrespective of being poor or rich, would get “free electricity”. “Your electricity bill will be zero. We’ve introduced PM Suryaghar free electricity programme for this through solar electricity,” he announced and the gathered crowd cheered. He added, “for the solar panel we’ve started giving ₹75,000 to every household and one has to only register his name online for this”.

The PM also praised Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for the State’s development. “Nitish Kumar-led NDA government has brought development in Bihar but we’ve to do more development in the State in the next five years.”

“This election is to choose the country’s PM,” Mr. Modi said and asked: “India needs a PM like?”, and he responded himself, “Bharat ko aisa PM chahiye jo damdar ho, desh ka dum duniya ke samne dum-khum ke saath rakh sake [India needs such a PM who is strong and should put India’s might before the world with full turbo power])”.

Slamming the RJD, Mr. Modi said: “This is an age of LED bulbs and what is the need of lanterns (RJD’s party symbol) which spreads light only in one house (obliquely referring to Mr. Lalu Prasad’s family) but has spread darkness in whole Bihar.”

“Modi is working hard 24X7 for viksit Bharat (developed India) but, on the other hand, the Opposition INDI alliance leaders have no work — some of them are in jail, some outside, they engage themselves only in abusing Modi day and night,” he said.

Later, Mr. Modi also addressed public meetings at Karakat and Buxar constituencies where NDA candidate Upendra Kushwaha (Rashtriya Lok Morcha) and BJP candidate Mithilesh Tiwari are contesting the polls against Grand Alliance candidates Raja Ram Singh (CPI-ML) and Sudhakar Singh (RJD) respectively.

“These people should listen that their countdown to go to jail has begun. That is for those who have done land-for-job scam and making rounds in the helicopter,” Mr. Modi said in an oblique reference to RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav at the Karakat rally.

He also took on the Congress for “keeping the people of the country frightened for the last 70 years” in the name of construction of Ram Temple at Ayodhya and abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir”.

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