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Row Over PM Modi’s ‘Wealth To Infiltrators’ Jab At Congress

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New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent remarks alleging that the Congress party, under the leadership of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, had stated that Muslims have the first right to the country’s wealth, has ignited a fierce debate, with the opposition criticizing the Prime Minister for his comments and the BJP defending its stance.

During a poll rally in Rajasthan’s Banswara, ahead of the second phase of Lok Sabha polls, PM Modi launched a scathing attack on the Congress, referring to their manifesto and accusing them of advocating policies that would infringe on individual property rights. He questioned Congress’s proposal to survey citizens’ properties and redistribute assets, including gold ornaments such as mangalsutras, emphasizing the cultural significance of such possessions.

Furthermore, Prime Minister Modi alleged that during Dr Manmohan Singh’s tenure, the Congress government had asserted that Muslims should have the first claim on the country’s resources. His remarks sparked controversy, with opposition leaders accusing him of attempting to polarize voters and divert attention from substantive issues.

In response to the criticism, the BJP shared a clip from a 2006 address by Dr Manmohan Singh, wherein he spoke about empowering minorities, particularly the Muslim community, to ensure equitable development. The clip, previously subjected to controversy, had prompted a clarification from the Prime Minister’s Office at the time, explaining the context of Singh’s remarks within a broader agenda of social and economic upliftment.

Opposition leaders condemned Prime Minister Modi’s statements, labelling them as divisive and misleading. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi accused the Prime Minister of attempting to deceive the public amidst growing support for the Congress party’s manifesto, which prioritizes issues of livelihood and economic empowerment.

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav echoed similar sentiments, urging the Prime Minister to focus on substantive policy matters rather than engaging in divisive rhetoric.

AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi criticized the Prime Minister for targeting Muslims and accused him of serving the interests of wealthy elites while neglecting the plight of ordinary citizens.

The Congress manifesto, which was the target of Prime Minister Modi’s criticism, calls for a nationwide socio-economic and caste census to inform affirmative action measures aimed at addressing inequality and discrimination based on caste and ancestry. The manifesto pledges to enhance representation and opportunities for marginalized communities and advocates for a constitutional amendment to expand reservation quotas beyond the current 50% limit.

The escalating rhetoric between the ruling BJP and the opposition underscores the intense contestation characterizing the ongoing election campaign, as parties vie for public support ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

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