Previous Congress regimes wanted to allot 15% of Union budget for minorities, claims PM Modi

Dr. Ambedkar was against religious-based reservation, yet the Congress is adamant about taking away reservation from SC/ST/OBC and the poor to give it to Muslims, he said

Updated - May 16, 2024 10:02 am IST

Published - May 16, 2024 09:04 am IST - Mumbai

Prime Minister Narendra Modi being felicitated during a public meeting in support of Union Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate from Dindori seat Bharati Pravin Pawar and Shiv Sena (Eknath Shinde faction) candidate Hemant Godse for the fifth phase of the Lok Sabha polls, at Dindori, in Nashik on May 15.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi being felicitated during a public meeting in support of Union Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate from Dindori seat Bharati Pravin Pawar and Shiv Sena (Eknath Shinde faction) candidate Hemant Godse for the fifth phase of the Lok Sabha polls, at Dindori, in Nashik on May 15. | Photo Credit: ANI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 15 alleged the erstwhile Congress-led UPA regime of wanting to allocate 15% of the union budget for minorities while vowing not to allow the splitting of the budget or give reservation in jobs and education on the basis of religion.

Addressing a poll rally in Pimpalgaon in Nashik, Mr. Modi said the splitting of the budget along religious lines was “dangerous” while accusing the Congress of being biased towards the minority community. 

“The Congress believes that 15% of the government’s budget should be exclusively allocated to minorities, essentially budget allocation based on religion. Many years ago, Congress approved this idea of budget allocation based on religion. It was a destructive idea. It uses the minority community only as a vote-bank. During my tenure as Chief Minister of Gujarat, the then Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh had proposed spending 15% of the budget exclusively on Muslims. I had vehemently opposed it,” he said, remarking that the Congress was determined to revive old agendas. 

Ahead of Phase 5 Lok Sabha polls scheduled on May 20, Mr. Modi was addressing the rally in support of Mahayuti candidates— Union minister Bharati Pawar (BJP) who is contesting from Dindori and Hemant Godse (Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena) who is contesting the Nashik Lok Sabha seat. He also addressed a rally in Kalyan in support of CM Shinde’s son Shrikant Shinde, the Mahayuti’s candidate for the Kalyan Lok Sabha seat and Naresh Mhaske (Shinde-led Shiv Sena), the candidate for the Thane Lok Sabha constituency. 

“Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar was against religious-based reservation, yet the Congress is adamant about taking away reservation from SC/ST/OBC and the poor to give it to Muslims. They’re even considering confiscating your property to appease their vote bank. The Modi government will never allow budget allocation based on religion or reservation; Modi is the guardian of the rights of the deprived,” Mr. Modi said. 

Claiming that the country had been ‘unsafe’ during the previous Congress-led regimes, the PM said: “During Congress’s tenure, the country was unsafe. Markets, cinema halls, hotels, restaurants, railway stations—nothing was secured. A decade ago, there were bomb blasts almost every day. Terrorist threats were rampant, firing on borders was frequent, and Naxal attacks plagued several states. And what did the Congress government do? They appealed to Pakistan for peace, damaging India’s reputation.” 

After 2014, the country has witnessed surgical strikes and air strikes, PM Modi said, remarking: “Pakistan has stopped openly threatening us with nuclear attacks. Pakistan openly admits to terrorist attacks, yet Congress and the INDI Alliance give them a clean chit.” 

Taking potshots at the I.N.D.I.A. alliance in general and the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena (UBT) in particular, PM Modi said the BJP would win with a significant victory whereas the Congress would not even manage to secure enough seats to remain as the chief Opposition in the country. 

“Both the ‘fake’ Shiv Sena and the phoney NCP [alluding to Mr. Thackeray and Mr. Sharad Pawar’s parties] will be merged into Congress and lose their identity. They think that by merging smaller parties into Congress, the INDI bloc will at least be able to form a formal opposition in the Lok Sabha. The people of Maharashtra have decided to punish them by voting them out,” he said.

Mr. Modi recalled the words of Uddhav’s father— late Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray— who had spoken of dissolving the Shiv Sena the day he felt it had transformed into the Congress party. 

“This fake Shiv Sena has shattered every dream of Balasaheb Thackeray who had envisioned the construction of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya and the abolishing of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir. While these dreams have been fulfilled, the fake Shiv Sena is showing its disdain. Just like the Congress, they rejected the invitation for the temple’s consecration. Their sinful partnership has been exposed to the entire state of Maharashtra,” Mr. Modi said.

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