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‘I will not do Hindu-Muslim’: PM Narendra Modi amid ‘infiltrators’ row



‘I will not do Hindu-Muslim’: PM Narendra Modi amid ‘infiltrators’ row

‘I will not do Hindu-Muslim’: PM Narendra Modi amid ‘infiltrators’ row

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has defended himself amid allegations that he was stoking divisions between Hindus and Muslims to win the Lok Sabha elections 2024, saying “the day I do Hindu-Muslim, I will be unworthy of public life” and “it is my resolve” that “I will not do Hindu-Muslim”.

PM Narendra Modi made these remarks in an interview with broadcaster CNN-News18—he posted clips of the interview on X (formerly Twitter) on Tuesday—in Varanasi on the day he filed his nomination papers, seeking a third consecutive Lok Sabha term from the constituency.

“I believe people of my country will vote for me,” Modi said during the interview.

“The day I start talking about Hindu-Muslim (in politics) will be the day I lose my ability to lead a public life,” Modi said, speaking in Hindi. “I will not do Hindu-Muslim. That is my resolve.”

Modi also clarified his “infiltrators” and “those with more children” remarks, saying that he did not only talk about Muslims but spoke about every poor family.

“I am shocked. Who told you that whenever one talks of people with more children, the inference is they are Muslims? Why are you so unjust towards Muslims? This is the situation in poor families too. Where there is poverty, there are more children, irrespective of their social circle. I didn’t mention either Hindu or Muslim. I have said that one should have as many children as you can take care of. Don’t let a situation arise where the government has to take care of your children,” Modi said.

The Opposition, including the Congress, has accused Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party of targeting minority Muslims to please their Hindu voters, which he and the party have denied.

Modi’s latest statement came days after his April 21 speech in Rajasthan’s Banswara, where he, while slamming the Congress manifesto, said, “Pehle jab unki sarkar thi, unhone kaha tha ki desh ki sampatti par pehla adhikar Musalmanon ka hai. Iska matlab, ye sampatti ikhatti karke kisko baatenge? Jinke zyada bachche hain unko baatenge, ghuspaithiyon ko baatenge. Kya aapke mehnat ki kamayi ka paisa ghuspaithiyon ko diya jayega? Aapko manzoor hai yeh? (Earlier, when they were in power, they had said Muslims have the first right to the wealth of the nation. That means, who will they distribute this wealth to? They will give it to those who have more children, to infiltrators. Should your hard-earned money be given to infiltrators? Do you agree with this?).”

The Congress has complained to the Election Commission of India that Modi made “deeply objectionable” comments about Muslims in an April 21 speech, violating poll rules. The commission has sought a response from BJP national president JP Nadda on the complaint.

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