Amid row over 'infiltrators' remark, instances of minority appeasement by Congress govts surface

by IANS |

New Delhi, April 22 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s election speech in Rajasthan’s Banswara has created a political storm with Congress and INDIA bloc leaders taking strong objection to it and accusing the former of "spreading lies and diverting attention from real issues."

Congress leaders in particular are incensed as PM Modi’s speech was centred on the party's 2024 manifesto and he also referred to minority appeasement during Manmohan Singh-led UPA governments. The Prime Minister slammed the Congress for letting the ‘Urban naxal mindset to dominate its discourse’ and said that the Manmohan Singh government maintained that ‘Muslims have the first right to country’s resources.’

While a couple of Congress leaders have accused the Prime Minister of ‘communalising’ the poll campaign with Hindu-Muslim rhetoric, the reality is that Congress-led governments were specific and emphatic in talking about equal rights for the Muslim community.

During UPA I and II, the then PM Manmohan Singh was loud and clear while speaking about the lower representation of Muslims in the administration and also the need to enhance this.

BJP has also shared videos from 2006 when Manmohan Singh spoke on how minorities, Muslims in particular, should be the first owners of the country’s wealth.

Here are a couple of instances which show Congress govt’s preference for Muslims, in particular:

On November 2, 2006, Manmohan Singh said, “As I see it the main factor responsible for socio-economic backwardness of the minority communities, particularly the Muslim community is the lack of access to the common school system. This is particularly true in the case of Muslim girls. During the current plan period and the next plan period, we must ensure that concrete schemes for setting up of secondary and higher secondary schools in the Blocks and Districts having predominantly Muslim populations are indeed implemented with a sharper focus on Muslim girls. Widening of access of the Muslim girls in professional education, particularly medical and engineering courses should be a priority area of educational programmes.”

On December 27, 2006, PM Manmohan Singh said, “Some minorities in India have done better than others. For example, in India, minority communities like the Jains and the Sikhs have fared relatively well in the process of social and economic development. However, other minorities, especially the Muslim community in certain parts of our country, have not had an equal share of the fruits of development. It is incumbent upon any democratically elected government to redress such imbalances and eradicate such inequities. I assure you, our Government is indeed committed to doing this.”

On December 27, 2006, PM Manmohan Singh said “I am distressed by the low representation of minorities, particularly the Muslim minority, in many walks of life, both in the public and the private sector. I do not need to underline to this audience the gravity of the problem that this creates for our collective effort to create a truly inclusive and tolerant society, where the benefits of economic development are shared by all citizens.”

On January 13, 2014, PM Manmohan Singh said, “All minority communities do not form a homogenous group. Some have done reasonably well, benefitting from the processes of social and economic development. However, other minorities, especially the Muslim community in certain parts of our country, have not had an equal share of the fruits of development. This has most recently been established by the data provided in the report of the Sachar Committee which our Government had set up.”

All these statements of the former PM Manmohan Singh have been documented on the archived portal of PMO.

Amid the political hullabaloo over PM Modi’s remarks on Muslim appeasement during Congress regimes, BJP says that the Prime Minister has only shown the mirror to the Opposition by exposing their double standards.

Political watchers also feel that this is a strategic move by the BJP to target Rahul Gandhi and Cong’s brand of politics.

Notably, Rahul Gandhi during a rally on April 6 promised a financial and institutional survey to know which section holds how much wealth and then undertake the 'revolutionary work.’

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