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Modi Retracts Again: “I Never Said That” Congress Would Put a ‘Babri-Lock’ on Ram Temple

Modi’s somersaults on his public statements continues. The latest backtrack is about saying that the Congress would put a ‘Babri lock’ on the Ram Temple.
Narendra Modi at the Ayodhya Ram temple event on January 22. Photo: X/@narendramodi

New Delhi: Modi has now gone back on his allegation levelled before thousands at an election rally, that if the Congress and INDIA alliance were to come to power, they would put a “Babri lock” on the Ram temple in Ayodhya, which Modi himself consecrated in January this year.

Narendra Modi in Madhya Pradesh’s Khargone and Dhar districts had said on May 7 that he “needs 400 seats” so the party cannot succeed in its plan to put the “Babri lock” on the temple in Ayodhya or bring back Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir. This drew attention also as it gave a different spin to why 400-seats were required. The ‘400-paar’ statement has become an albatross around the BJP’s neck, with suspicion gathering ground amidst significant sections of SCs, STs and OBCs that this would be needed to change the Constitution, and so scrap reservations that India’s Constitution guarantees its backwards sections.

In an interview to News 18’s Amish Devgan on May 13, on being asked what exactly he meant by that, he said, “This is not my statement.” Devgan persisted, saying Modi has said it. But Modi reasserted saying it was not his statement, and Devgan “must not put words in my mouth”. There is silence for a few seconds perhaps as Devgan appears surprised at his going back on a statement made before thousands of people at a public rally and reported widely in newspapers.

[Watch from 08:43]

This election has been marked by surprising statements, then quick flip-flops and retractions by Modi. The first surprise was the intensity of the anti-Muslim hate speech he delivered in Rajasthan’s Banswara on April 21, which he then repeated parts of it in subsequent rallies. Modi on May 14 though, while filing his nomination papers in Varanasi denied having ever said that, saying if he were to ever do “Hindu-Muslim”, he would see himself “as unfit for public life”.

Later, Modi went back on the Varanasi denial and again spoke of the “dangers” of Muslims securing reservations due to Dalits, Backwards and Tribal communities and other benefits, if the Opposition were to win the elections and assume office.

Later, while electioneering in Telangana, Modi stunned his supporters by suggesting that “Adani-Ambani” were paying the Opposition, “tempo-loads” of money “by night-time.” Modi’s cabinet ministers, Piyush Goyal and Nirmala Sitharaman have been struggling to explain Modi’s statement, with Goyal going as far as saying to Times Now that “only Modi can answer”. Modi, however, is yet to explain his remarks or go back on them.

“Adani-Ambani” and Modi government’s promotion of crony capitalism and Modi’s allegedly close ties with Gautam Adani personally have been constant refrains in the Opposition, particularly the Congress and Rahul Gandhi’s campaign. Alt News fact-checked Modi for falsely claiming that the Congress has stopped mentioning India’s centibillionaires.

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