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Modi in East Champaran: Cong. Wants to Give SC, ST, OBC Reservations to ‘People of Vote Jihad’

During his campaign speech in the Bihar constituency, Modi also claimed that former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru was against reservation for SCs, STs and OBCs.
Photo: Screenshot from YouTube/Narendra Modi.

New Delhi: In Bihar’s East Champaran, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday (May 21) that the Congress plans to redistribute reservations belonging to SCs, STs and OBCs among the “people of vote jihad” – an oblique reference to Muslims.

The Congress has “just one vote bank remaining”, Modi said, because they had “cheated SCs, STs, the poor, women and everyone else”.

He added that in order to make this vote bank happy, the Congress wants to “steal” reservations from SCs, STs and OBCs and give them “on the basis of religion” to “the people of vote jihad”.

Modi’s euphemism for the Muslim community is based on alleged remarks Samajwadi Party leader Maria Alam Khan made earlier this month in Uttar Pradesh, asking those present at an event to ‘do the jihad of votes’ in an effort to unseat the “Sanghi” government, a reference to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, which is considered to be the BJP’s ideological fountainhead.

He has since used the term ‘vote jihad’ to taunt the opposition INDIA alliance, saying that voters would have to decide whether they wanted ‘Ram rajya’ or ‘vote jihad’. He has alleged, without any basis, that the Samajwadi Party (SP) and Congress manifestos promise to redistribute people’s excess wealth to the “people of vote jihad”.

Speaking in Uttar Pradesh’s Hamirpur, Modi seemed to imply that the SP and Congress’s efforts to carry out this redistribution will involve the mangalsutras worn by married Hindu women – an implication he first made during his now-infamous campaign at Banswara in April.

The Wire and other news organisations have reported that the Congress manifesto does not promise to redistribute people’s wealth, let alone among a specific community.

In East Champaran today, Modi also claimed that former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru was against reservation for SCs, STs and OBCs.

“The truth is, if it weren’t for Babasaheb [B.R.] Ambedkar, Nehru ji wouldn’t have let SCs and STs have reservations. He had written to chief ministers to oppose this,” he said.

“From Nehru to Rajiv Gandhi, all prime ministers from this family have opposed reservations,” Modi also said, adding that the Congress wanted to change the constitution because it “does not allow” giving reservations on the basis of religion.

East Champaran will vote in the sixth phase of elections on Saturday (May 25).

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