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Will not let reservation be given to Muslims as long as I'm alive: PM Modi

Speaking at an election rally in Maharashtra, Prime Minister says that he will not let reservation for Dalits, adivasis, OBCs to be compromised

Modi,Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Photo: PTI)

Rimjhim Singh New Delhi

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Reservation on the basis of religion will be against the values and principles enshrined in the Indian Constitution, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday.

“As long as I am alive, I will not let reservations of Dalits, adivasis, OBCs be given to Muslims on the basis of religion," he said in Maharashtra's Nandurbar while campaigning for elections.

“The Congress never bothered about the welfare of adivasis," he said about India’s main Opposition party.

What did PM Modi say in Rajasthan's Banswara in April?

The controversy started when during an election rally in Rajasthan's Banswara last month, Modi said that if voted to power, the Congress will distribute the country's wealth among "infiltrators" and families with more children.

Modi cited a speech by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and said his rival’s administration had advocated for the redistribution of property from Hindus to Muslims.

"This ‘urban Naxal’ mindset, mothers and sisters, will not even leave your mangalsutra. They can go to that extent. The Congress manifesto claims it will calculate the gold possessed by mothers and sisters, gather information about it, and then distribute that property. They will distribute it to whom? Manmohan Singh's government had said Muslims have the first right on the country's assets," Modi had said.

"Earlier, when their [Congress] government was in power, they had stated that Muslims have the first right on the country's assets. This implies to whom will this property be distributed? It will be distributed among those who have more children. It will be distributed to the infiltrators. Should your hard-earned money go to the infiltrators? Do you approve of this?"

"Do governments have the right to confiscate your property which you have earned through hard work? The gold with our mothers and sisters is not for showing off; it is tied to their self-respect. The value of their mangalsutra is not in gold or its price, but is related to their dreams in life. And you are talking about snatching it?" the prime minister had said in Rajasthan.

The Congress asked the Election Commission (EC) to take action against Modi for his comments. The Congress said the Prime Minister's speech was "divisive, objectionable and malicious” and he had made “blatantly defamatory”, “false” and “unverified allegations” against the party.

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) too asked the EC to take action against PM Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

'Not against Muslims or Islam', says PM Modi

In a recent interview to Times Now TV news channel, Modi said that he is not biased against Muslims.

In an interview clip shared on X (formerly Twitter), Modi said, "Neither we are against Muslim nor Islam. This is not our work. Muslim community understands everything. When I ended the tradition of triple talaq, when I give Ayushman card or when I give Covid-19 vaccine, Muslim sisters feel I am a genuine man who does not discriminate."

Answering to allegations made against him for being against Muslims, he said, “When there was the government of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, our manifesto mentioned Ram Mandir, Article 370. When you speak about 100 per cent, every community is included. There is a guarantee of social justice, secularism. Modi ensures that everyone gets everything."

'Muslims, leaders should introspect', says PM Modi

He further said that the Muslim community and their leaders should introspect. “The country is moving forward. If your community is lagging, then what is the reason? Did you receive the benefit of government schemes during Congress' rule?" he said.

The Prime Minister accused the Congress party of disrespecting the Constitution. “Shouldn't we create a spirit of Constitution in the country? It is not that the Constitution should be only for judges and lawyers. When I brought a proposal in Parliament to celebrate Constitution Day, Kharge ji [Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge] himself opposed it, saying what was the need when we celebrate January 26."

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First Published: May 10 2024 | 1:47 PM IST

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