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Narendra Modi Repeats ‘First Right’ Claim; Kharge says ‘Habit to …’

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday claimed that the Congress party will snatch away jobs from families of marginalised communities and give to those who have “first claim” on resources, in an apparent reference to Muslims.

Addressing a rally at Aonla in Bareilly district, Modi said, “If two people in a backward or Dalit family work, they will take away the job of one and give it to those whom they say have the first right on the country’s resources.”

Addressing a rally at Aonla in Bareilly district, Modi said, “If two people in a backward or Dalit family work, they will take away the job of one and give it to those whom they say have the first right on the country’s resources.”

While Modi stopped short of naming the community this time, he made similar allegations in Rajasthan’s Banswara where he claimed that the Congress party would take away people’s gold and property to redistribute them to “infiltrators” and “those who have more children”.

“The Congress manifesto says they will take stock of the gold owned by our mothers and sisters, and then they will redistribute that wealth. And distribute it to those who, according to the Manmohan Singh government, have the first right on resources — Muslims,” Modi had said.

Modi was referring to former PM Manmohan Singh’s 2006 remark, which, according to him, advocated first claim on resources for Muslims. To be sure, a PMO clarification available on the archives suggests that former PM Singh had talked about all underprivileged sections, including SCs, STs, women, children, and minorities, particularly Muslims.

The Election Commission on Thursday issued a notice to BJP president J P Nadda on Opposition charge that Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave a divisive speech in Banswara. The poll panel sought Nadda’s response by Monday to the complaints filed by the Congress, CPI, CPI (ML) and civil society groups.

Meanwhile, Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge has written to Prime Minister Modi seeking time from him to explain in person the party’s manifesto. In his two-page letter, he told the prime minister that he is being misinformed by his advisors about things that are not even written in the ‘Nyay Patra’.

“It has become your habit to seize on a few words taken out of context and create a communal divide. You are lowering the dignity of the chair by speaking in this manner,” he said.

“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 prime minister of the country, you don’t make any statements that are false,” he added.

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