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ECI Says “No Comment” on Modi’s Purported “Hate Speech”

ECI Says “No Comment” on Modi’s Purported “Hate Speech”

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NEW DELHI, Apr 22: The Election Commission of India on Monday declined to comment on remarks made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his poll speech in Rajasthan on he alleged Congress “design” to distribute the country’s wealth among the Muslims.

“We decline comment,” a poll panel spokesperson said on queries related to the prime minister’s speech on Sunday in Banswara.

Mr Modi on Sunday suggested that if the Congress came to power, it would redistribute the wealth of the people to Muslims and cited former PM Manmohan Singh’s remark that the minority community had the first claim on the country’s resources.

In his remarks in Rajasthan, Mr Modi had said, “Earlier, when their (Congress) government was in power, they had said that 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.”

Following the speech, the Congress dared Mr Modi to show one paragraph in its manifesto where it talked about redistributing wealth to the Muslim community. Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, in a post on X, said the Prime Minister had delivered the “hate speech” after realising that the INDIA block had won the first round.

Mr Kharge alleged that lying for power and making baseless allegations about opponents were the values of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-Bharatiya Janata Party combine that Mr Modi has imbibed.

The BJP, however, appreciated Mr Modi’s speech and claimed that he had only “called a spade a spade” and had only echoed people’s sentiments. BJP spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia told reporters that the Opposition was in pain as Mr Modi has showed them the mirror about its past.

Meanwhile, a Congress delegation comprising Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Gurdeep Sappal and Supriya Shrinate met with the ECI at 4 p.m. on Monday and put forward 16 complaints against the BJP and other actors for violations of The Representation of the People Act, 1951, various judgments of the Supreme Court, and the ECI’s Model Code of Conduct.

“We hope that immediate action will be taken on these very legitimate complaints,” Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said in a post on X. One of the 16 complaints is against Prime Minister Narendra Modi for allegedly using religion to ask voters to refrain from voting for the INC while also making false, defamatory statements against the INC and its leaders.

The Congress has also filed a complaint against Doordarshan News new saffron logo, “a colour that is universally associated with the BJP in Indian politics” — and sought an inquiry in light of its decision being made during the election period.

(Manas Dasgupta)



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