"When All This Is Over...": Mallikarjun Kharge's Open Letter To PM Modi

Prime Minister Modi has alleged that the Congress has a wealth redistribution plan that it will put in motion if it comes to power. The Congress has denied the allegations

Mallikarjun Kharge has shared his letter to PM Modi on his official handle on X

New Delhi:

Amid the massive row triggered by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's remarks on the Congress manifesto, party chief Mallikarjun Kharge has written to him, saying that he "would be more than happy to meet you in person to explain our Nyay Patra".

In an all-out attack on the main Opposition party, the Prime Minister has alleged that the Congress has a wealth redistribution plan that it will put in motion if it comes to power. Under this alleged plan, private property, including houses and jewellery, will be taken away and redistributed, he has said. Even mangalsutra - a jewellery worn by women as a sign of their marriage - won't be spared, the Prime Minister has claimed.

This line of attack was first employed by the Chief Minister at a rally in Rajasthan's Banswara Sunday. The Prime Minister alleged that when the Congress was in power under Dr Manmohan Singh, it had said Muslims have the first right on the country's wealth. "This means that they will gather this property and distribute it among people who have more children, among infiltrators. Will your hard-earned money be given to infiltrators? Do you accept this? The Congress manifesto is saying this."

The Congress has denied these allegations. Its manifesto says that if elected, the Congress will conduct a nationwide socio-economic and caste census. "Congress will conduct a nation-wide Socio-Economic and Caste Census to enumerate the castes and sub-castes and their socio-economic conditions. Based on the data, we will strengthen the agenda for affirmative action." The manifesto does not say anything about a plan to redistribute private property.

The Prime Minister, however, has doubled down, repeating his charge in rally after rally.

In his letter addressed to the Prime Minister, Mr Kharge writes he is "neither shocked nor surprised by your language or your speeches". "It was expected that you and other leaders from your party would start speaking in this manner after you saw the dismal performance of the BJP in the first phase of the elections," he adds in the letter, shared on X. 

Describing the Narendra Modi government as "suit-boot ki sarkar", Mr Kharge alleges that it works for the corporates "whose taxes you reduced, while salaried class pays higher taxes". "The poor pays GST even on food and salt and rich corporate claim GST refunds. That is why when we talk of inequality between rich and poor, you are purposely equating it with Hindu and Muslim. Our manifesto is for the people of India whether they are Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Sikh Jain or Buddhist," he writes. 

Mr Kharge has accused the Prime Minister of ignoring atrocities faced by poor and backward women of the country. "Today, you talk about their mangalsutra. Isn't your government responsible for the atrocities against women in Manipur, atrocities against Dalit girls, garlanding of rapists?"

"When farmers are committing suicides under your government, how are you protecting their wives and children? Please read about the Nari Nyay which we will be implementing when we come to power," he adds.

The letter says it has become a "habit" for the Prime Minister "to seize on few words taken out of context and create a communal divide".

"You are lowering the dignity of the chair by speaking in this manner. When all of this is over, people will remember that the Prime Minister of the country used such vulgar language for fear of losing an election," Mr Kharge writes.

The Congress president urges the Prime Minister not to "get carried away" by his supporters clapping at his speeches. "They are not allowing you to hear the crores of right thinking citizens who are disappointed by your speeches," he writes.

"The Congress Nyay Patra aims at providing Nyay to the youth, women, farmers, labours and marginalised people across all castes and communities. You are being misinformed by your advisors about things that are not even written in our manifesto. I would be more than happy to meet you in person to explain our Nyay Patra so that as the Prime Minister of the country you don't make any statements that are false," the Congress president writes before signing off. 

The BJP is yet to respond to the Congress president's letter. 

Earlier, soon after the Prime Minister's remarks on Sunday, Mr Kharge had described it as a "hate speech" aimed at diverting attention from key poll issues.

The BJP had responded that the Prime Minister had called a spade a spade and echoed people's sentiments. BJP spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia told reporters that the opposition is in pain as the Prime Minister has showed them the mirror about its past.

The Congress has flagged the Prime Minister's remarks to the Election Commission of India, which has sought a response from the BJP leadership. The poll body has also issued a notice to the Congress leadership, seeking its response to a BJP complaint against Rahul Gandhi.