PM Modi jabs Congress with ‘panja’, ‘mangalsutra’ barbs in Aligarh | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

PM Modi jabs Congress with ‘panja’, ‘mangalsutra’ barbs in Aligarh

Apr 23, 2024 07:35 AM IST

Modi also reaches out to Muslims, saying his government helped increase Haj quota, ended triple talaq to secure future of women of the community

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday again targeted the Congress over its manifesto and accused the party of planning to redistribute people’s property if it is voted to power, but stopped short of saying that the wealth would go to Muslims, as he had done in Rajasthan on Sunday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in conversation with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath at a public meeting in Aligarh. (ANI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in conversation with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath at a public meeting in Aligarh. (ANI)

At the same time, in an outreach to the community while addressing a rally in Aligarh, which has a sizeable Muslim population, Modi said the quota for the Haj pilgrimage by Muslims was increased by Saudi Arabia upon his request to the Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, and that the visa process was also made seamless to avoid any inconvenience to the pilgrims. Follow full coverage of the Lok Sabha elections here.

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He also cited the enactment of a law by his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government against the practice of triple talaq (Muslim divorce law), saying it helped secure the future of several women in the community.

He also sought to win over Pasmanda Muslims, saying the Congress and the SP have done nothing to uplift the community. Rather, these parties get worried whenever he tries to discuss the plight of Pasmanda Muslims.

Also Read | ‘Congress & allies want to snatch your assets’: PM Modi in UP's Aligarh

Playing up the redistribution of wealth theme, he alleged that the Congress and its allies plan to amend laws to take control of “streedhan” (property exclusively owned by women).

“These people have their eyes on ‘manglasutras’,” he said.

The Congress will use its ‘panja’ (the hand symbol of the party) to steal all your wealth, he said.

Aligarh votes on April 26 in the second phase of the Lok Sabha election. He was addressing the rally at Numaish Maidan (Exhibition Ground) in support of the party’s Aligarh candidate and sitting MP Satish Gautam and the Hathras (reserved constituency) pick Anup Valmiki in the presence of chief minister Yogi Adityanath.

The prime minister continued from where he left off in his Sunday speech in Rajasthan, but made no mention of Muslims as the beneficiary of what the Congress will seize from citizens in compliance with its plan for redistribution of wealth.

Also Read | BJP defends Modi's remarks on Muslims, says 'resonated with people'

“He (Rahul Gandhi) says that if his party comes to power, all of what is possessed by the common man will be probed and taken in government control and distributed to others. This is in their manifesto...women in our families retain gold jewellery which is not only for wearing at functions but is their legal right as ‘streedhan’. They (Congress) plan to amend the law to snatch gold, including their ‘mangalsutra’ (symbol of marriage) from our mothers and sisters. They are bent upon stealing it,” Modi said.

“The Congress regime plans to survey what all the salaried class has...your vehicles, land etc...and all will be seized and distributed. If you have one house in the city and other in the paternal village, one will be snatched and the one not owning a house will get it,” he said.

“This thought is driven by Communist ideology or that of Maoist thinking from which many nations have suffered. Congress and its alliance partners want to implement it here in such Congress will place ‘panja’ (party symbol hand) on your assets, which will no more be safe in the Congress regime,” he said.

“These leaders, offspring of ‘pariwarwad’ (dynastic rule) have themselves amassed huge wealth and now have dishonest eyes on property owned by fact the Congress finds it their birth right. In every defence deal in the Congress regime after independence, there were scams and the Congress would have never allowed projects like Defence Corridor (for manufacturing indigenous defence items) in Aligarh as it would have hit their interests,” the prime minister said.

On Sunday, the prime minister had claimed that the Congress manifesto promised “redistribution” of wealth after conducting a survey.

Citing former prime minister Manmohan Singh’s 2006 remark on Muslims having the “first claim” on the country’s resources, Modi had said in Rajasthan’s Banswara that the Congress was set to hand over the wealth of others to “infiltrators” and “those who have more children”.

On Monday, Modi’s outreach to the Muslim community came amid a massive political controversy over his Sunday’s remarks that suggested the Congress intends to redistribute public wealth to Muslims.

“Earlier, due to less Haj quota, there used to be a lot of fighting and bribery was also prevalent there and only the influential people would get the chance to go for Haj. I had requested the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia to increase the Haj quota for our Muslim brothers and sisters in India,” he said.

“Today, not only has India’s Haj quota increased but visa rules have also been made easier. The government took a very important decision,” he added.

Modi further said that his government also fulfilled the dreams of thousands of sisters who wished to go for the pilgrimage.

“Earlier, our Muslim mothers and sisters could not go alone for Haj. The government allowed women to go for Haj without ‘Mehram’ (a male companion who is either one’s husband or share blood relations) and I am being blessed by thousands of sisters whose dream of going for Haj has been fulfilled,” he said.

In 2019, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced the increase in quota for Indian Haj pilgrims from 170,000 to 200,000, paving the way for 30,000 more Indians to go for the annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca in the kingdom.

The issue was discussed during Modi’s bilateral talks with the Crown Prince during their visit to Japan for the G20 summit.

In Aligarh, Modi also referred to the ban on triple talaq. “When I talk about Pasmanda (backward Muslims), they (the Opposition) raised objections. While benefits were reaped by those in the top position, Pasmanda Muslims were neglected. Triple Talaq not only affected women but their entire family. Modi brought in a law against Triple Talaq to save them and secure the future of our daughters,” he said.

Beginning his address with Bharat Mata Ki Jai and Radhey Radhey, Modi said for him “janata” (public) is “Bhagwan” (God).

“When I came to Aligarh the last time, I asked you to place a lock on the politics of the Congress and the SP, but you placed such a lock that both Shehzade (Rahul Gandhi and Akhilesh Yadav) are still searching for the keys to that lock of Aligarh. You have the keys to Viksit Bharat and your vote can remove poverty, corruption, dynastic rule and for this we need...Modi sarkar,” he said.

“It is the time of marriages and harvest. Though the temperature is too high, nothing is bigger than the nation, so cast your vote before breakfast as every vote counts,” Modi said.

It was their one vote which changed the situation in Kashmir because of the abrogation of Article 370, he added.

“First-time voters might be too young but can know from elders about the past when there used to advertisements cautioning against unclaimed objects in the public as they could be bombs. There used to be riots and curfew, but all changed with chief minister Yogi Adityanath coming to power,” he said.

Listing welfare schemes, he said it is not Modi who has done all this, but it was one vote of the citizens which brought Modi to power.

“What I have done in 10 years is merely a trailer as we have a lot to do in the third term. I will not take rest...I have decided that your dreams are my sankalp (commitment) whole life is for you and the nation....I am not born to celebrate but to work hard... I will do all for you,” Modi said amid applause.

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    Hemendra Chaturvedi is based in Agra serving as a Principal Correspondent, covering districts of Agra and Aligarh division of western Uttar Pradesh. He has been with HT since 1992 and has completed 25 year of association with HT.

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