ANI Photo | PM’s ‘mangalsutra’ remark is response to Congress over ‘wealth redistribution’, we have never divided society: JP Nadda

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president JP Nadda has said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been referring to “mangalsutra” in his election speeches to expose “thinking in Congress on wealth redistribution” and that the UPA government had said that Muslims have the first right over the country’s wealth.
In an interview with ANI, Nadda said the Modi government has lifted 25 crore people out of poverty, has worked for everyone and has taken steps for the empowerment of women, farmers, the poor, Dalits and other weaker sections. He accused Congress of following policies of divide and rule and not working for the integration of society.
Nadda referred to remarks of former Congress Overseas Chairperson Sam Pitroda pertaining to “redistribution of wealth” and “inheritance tax” and said he was the guru of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.
“You talked about redistribution of wealth. Your guru who is in a foreign country, who is a friend philosopher guide, he talks about the redistribution of wealth. After all, no matter what the man in the house earns, it’s always the women who run the family. So to explain what you mean by redistribution of wealth, we have to link it with the ‘Mangalsutra’,” Nadda said.
PM Modi has been referring to inheritance tax, distribution of wealth and mangalsutra in his election speeches to target the Congress. He has also been referring to remarks of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh made in 2006 that there is a need of “innovative plans to ensure that minorities, particularly the Muslim minority, are empowered to share equitably in the fruits of development” and “they must have the first claim on resources”.
PM Modi had said in a speech in Rajasthan that mangalsutra is linked to a woman’s dreams. “You are talking of snatching it in your manifesto, which will distribute gold and redistribute. When it was their government, they had said that Muslims have the first right over the country’s wealth. Who will you distribute after collecting the wealth, distribute it to those who have more children, and distribute it to infiltrators?” PM Modi had said.
Congress had last month distanced itself from Sam Pitroda’s remarks pertaining to inheritance tax. Pitroda, who later resigned as Indian Overseas Congress president, had talked about the inheritance tax law in the United States.
Pitroda had later said that his remarks on individual inheritance tax in the US had been twisted and that it has nothing to do with the policy of any party including Congress.
Asked about the change in the narrative of Lok Sabha elections from ‘Vishwaguru’ to the attacks on Congress over its manifesto, Nadda said that these issues had been raised by Congress and BJP has to respond to them as a responsible political party.
“We have to be very clear that development is the issue, core issue. And we are moving forward with this idea of a developed India…Some people talk about Vishwaguru, but we say strong nation. This is what we believe. Modiji worked very hard for 10 years with everyone’s support, for everyone’s development. And he lifted 25 crore people from the poverty line. We don’t say it, IMF and NITI Aayog says it. We have become the fifth-largest economy and are moving towards being the third-largest economy. We worked for the empowerment of women, farmers, the poor, Dalits, youth…to improve their quality of life. Modiji never says which castes have benefited more. He worked equally for everyone in the last 10 years,” Nadda said.
Nadda alleged that the Congress manifesto reflects the party’s desire to give special treatment to minorities. “What was the purpose? It was honey-coated. I will not even say sugar-coated, honey-coated. It was the work of spreading poison in the society which was exposed by Modiji. It was honey-coated,” the BJP leader alleged.
Hitting out at the Congress, Nadda said that for Congress minority means Muslims but BJP works for every section.
“Modiji never said that our Muslim brothers have benefited from the Prime Minister’s scheme in 10 years, he never said that our Muslim farmers are getting the benefits. We have never divided the society. Modiji has never divided it,” he said.
“What was the need for this statement?…Manmohan Singh said in the National Development Council that the first right to the resources of the country is of Muslims,” Nadda said.
The BJP chief accused the Congress of opposing Citizenship Amendment Act.
“Now there is CAA. So in CAA, Hindus, Parsis, Christians, and Jains also come. Who else doesn’t come? Muslims don’t come. You are opposing CAA. This means there is no other minority for you other than Muslims. And where did you come from?….Which country? Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. This means you are Muslim-based….You want to keep them separate. When you want to keep him separate, then you talk about special treatment,” he said.
With Rahul Gandhi carrying a copy of the Constitution in his political rallies, the BJP leader said the Congress leader must know that the Constitution does not allow reservation based on religion.
“Rahul Gandhi carries a copy of the Constitution. I don’t know how much he has read it. After long debates in the Constituent Assembly, Ambedkarji decided and it is written in the Constitution that there will be no reservation based on religion,” he said.
“So when you have made such an effort in Andhra Pradesh four times, in Karnataka you did it once, and then when your government came back. So your vicious design (is) divide and rule, and never let Hindus and Muslims unite in India, never let the society of India unite. Modiji never said that we have tried to benefit any religion,” Nadda added

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