Congress plan for equality is a ‘dangerous game’, says PM Modi

PM Modi says Opposition party aims at snatching rights and properties; it has plans to implement a 15% reservation on the basis of religion by reducing quota of SCs, STs & OBCs, he alleges in three rallies

April 24, 2024 04:40 pm | Updated April 25, 2024 07:47 am IST - NEW DELHI/RAIPUR

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses a public meeting in Madhya Pradesh’s Sagar on April 24, 2024.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses a public meeting in Madhya Pradesh’s Sagar on April 24, 2024. | Photo Credit: PTI

Doubling down on his attacks against the Congress’ promises on social justice and alleged wealth redistribution, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 24 claimed that the “dangerous intentions” of the Congress were coming to the fore one by one.

Addressing poll rallies in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, Mr. Modi reiterated his assertion that the Congress’ plan for social welfare and reducing inequality amounted to a “dangerous game” of wealth redistribution and “snatching people’s rights and properties”.

“This is Congress ki loot. Zindagi ke saath bhi, zindagi ke baad bhi (During life, and after life also),” he said. “While you are alive, they want to survey your personal wealth, property, houses, shops, and land, and give it away to secure their vote bank. And when you die, they want to deprive you of the right to leave your assets behind to future generations as well,” he added.

At all three rallies he addressed on April 24, Mr. Modi said that the Congress had planned to implement a 15% reservation on the basis of religion by reducing the existing quota for Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs) and other backward classes (OBCs).

The Congress manifesto for the 2024 Lok Sabha election does not contain any mention of a religion-based reservation or of reducing the quota for SCs, STs, or OBCs. In fact, the Congress manifesto calls for a Constitutional amendment to raise the quota limit beyond 50%.

On the party’s plan to address economic inequality, the manifesto only says, “We will address the growing inequality of wealth and income through suitable changes in policies,” with no mention of wealth redistribution or even any wealth survey apart from the promised caste census which is to gather socio-economic data as well.

Mr. Modi prefaced his claims on the Congress party’s “dangerous game to steal quotas of Dalits, Adivasis and OBCs” with examples from the southern States of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, adding that the party’s manifestos for the 2009 and 2014 Lok Sabha elections had also expressed the “same intention”. He repeated these points at the subsequent poll rallies he spoke at in Madhya Pradesh’s Sagar and Betul later in the day too.

On the Karnataka government’s reservation policy, Mr. Modi accused the Congress of “hoodwinking” the OBC communities of the State by allowing all Muslim castes to avail reservation under the OBC category. “The Congress government of Karnataka committed another sin. All the castes of the Muslim community were included in the OBC quota and made them OBCs. The benefits that OBCs of our country were getting were cut off,” he said, adding that the Congress had “killed the secular religion of social justice in India”.

‘Congress stole OBC rights’

In Madhya Pradesh’s Sagar, the PM said, “The biggest enemy of the OBCs is the Congress, which has stolen the rights of the OBCs from them. The Congress has murdered the principles of social justice. It has hurt the basic idea of the Constitution and insulted the legacy of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar.”

He continued, “They ask me, why do I say, is baar 400 paar? I will answer. What Congress is doing is playing a dangerous game to loot the reservation benefits of the Dalits, Adivasis, and OBCs. I am asking you to give us over 400 seats [in the Lok Sabha] so that I can put an end to this game of the Congress once and for all… I need these 400 seats to be able to protect the quotas of my Dalit, Adivasi, and OBC brothers and sisters.”

Generational wealth

At the speeches he delivered at Ambikapur, Sagar, and Betul, the Prime Minister added that the Congress was not only eyeing reservation, but also people’s earnings and properties. Pointing to recent comments by the Indian Overseas Congress chief Sam Pitroda terming the U.S. inheritance tax as an “interesting idea”, Mr. Modi warned that the Congress panja (hand) would snatch away the money that people accumulated for their children through their hard work.

By the time the Congress had distanced itself from Mr. Pitroda’s remarks, Mr. Modi was speaking at Betul, where he said, “Now, they are saying it is his personal opinion. But let me remind you that in 2011, the Planning Commission had mulled the same inheritance tax.”

In a country that has a tendency to save for future generations, the Congress party is “going to strongly attack the fundamental thought process of India” and its “fundamental values”, Mr. Modi said, adding that this only showed “how disconnected Congress had become from the basic nature of Indian society, which tries to save all their lives to be able to leave something behind for their children”.

“The Congress is coming after your generational wealth too,” Mr. Modi alleged.

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