"With Folded Hands...": Tejashwi Yadav's Plea After PM's Rajasthan Speech

Congress MP Rahul Gandhi had hit out at PM Modi's speech, calling it "lies", and AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi said the Prime Minister's only 'guarantee' is "to abuse Muslims and get votes".

RJD leader and former Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav.

New Delhi:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's controversial election speech in Rajasthan - in which he referred to the nation's Muslim community and declared the Congress, should it win the 2024 election will "distribute assets among infiltrators" - drew an emotional plea from the Rashtriya Janata Dal's Tejashwi Yadav

"I have only this to say to the Prime Minister... and I say this with folded hands. Please talk about the real issues and set aside this politics of hate. The nation's youth and elderly, farmers and businessmen, and mothers and sisters... all people have the same issues," the former Bihar Deputy Chief Minister said.

" Everybody wants to find jobs to overcome poverty and deal with the rising cost of living... so again I ask the Prime Minister to discuss these real issues and tell us, in the past 10 years, what you have done for the country and for Bihar?" Mr Yadav told reporters in Patna.

"What is you real vision for Bihar... for the nation? He is not talking about this and, instead, is shouting about temples (referring to the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, construction of which the BJP has made a central election issue) and Muslims. This is not good..."

READ | PM's "Wealth To Infiltrators" Jab, Manmohan Singh's 2006 Speech

Mr Modi's speech in Rajasthan's Banswara this weekend has triggered furious pushback from the opposition and a section of civil society activists. Congress MP Rahul Gandhi hit out at the "lies" and AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi said the Prime Minister's only 'guarantee' is "to abuse Muslims..."

Samajwadi Party boss and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav - who is part of the Congress-led INDIA opposition bloc - also called out the Prime Minister's "lies".

What Did PM Modi Say In Rajasthan?

At Banswara on Sunday, Mr Modi had said, "This 'urban Naxal' mindset, mothers and sisters, they will not even leave your 'mangalsutra'. They can go to that level... Congress manifesto says they will calculate the gold with mothers and sisters, get information about it, and then distribute that property. They will distribute it to whom - Manmohan Singh's government had said Muslims have first right on assets."

READ | Row After PM Says "Congress To Distribute Assets Among Infiltrators"

"Earlier, when their (Congress) government was in power, they said Muslims have the first right on the country's assets. This means 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?" he said.

What Did Manmohan Singh Say In 2006?

Mr Modi was referring to a statement by then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh - on whom he lavished praise in February, calling him an "inspirational example" - in December 2006 at a meeting of the National Development Council on the fiscal priorities of his government.

According to the then Prime Minister's Office, Dr Singh had said, "... We will have to devise innovative plans to ensure that minorities, particularly the Muslim minority, are empowered to share equitably in the fruits of development. They must have first claim on resources..."

PM Modi vs Congress Before Polls

Mr Modi's sharp swipe Sunday comes as he and the ruling BJP ramp up attacks on the Congress and the INDIA bloc. Earlier, in Rajasthan's Jalore, he claimed the country would "punish" the party for its "sins".

Mr Modi and the BJP earlier also accused the Congress' election manifest of being a "Muslim League imprint" and a "bundle of lies". "Congress issued a bundle of lies in its manifesto... every page reeks of attempts to tear India apart. It reflects the thoughts the Muslim League had before independence," the PM had said at a poll rally in Uttar Pradesh's Saharanpur.

READ | "Its Best Friend...": M Kharge On BJP's "Muslim League Imprint" Jab

The comment drew a fierce retort from Congress boss Mallikarjun Kharge. In a strong swipe at the BJP and its ideological mentor, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, he said, "Everyone knows how (Syama) Prasad Mookerjee "formed his governments in Bengal, Sindh, and NWFP (North West Frontier Province) in the 1940s in coalition with the Muslim League".

The 2024 Lok Sabha election began last Friday with voting for 102 seats in 21 states and UTs, including 12 of Rajasthan's 25 seats. The next phase of voting is on April 26.

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