Azamgarh: PM Modi Takes A Dig At Rahul Gandhi For Reported Muslim Remark

Azamgarh: PM Modi Takes  A Dig At Rahul Gandhi For Reported Muslim Remark

 Azamgarh: PM Modi Takes  A Dig At Rahul Gandhi For Reported Muslim Remark

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi started his two-day Uttar Pradesh visit with an attack on the opposition. Today, PM Modi, raked up the claim that Rahul Gandhi had recently called the Congress 'a party of Muslims'. The PM also questioned motive for arch nemesis, Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav, to join hands for the 2019 elections and described it as an effort to stop their vote banks from getting empowered.

The Prime Minister's move to reiterate the charge made by Defence Minster Nirmala Sitharaman, it comes hours after the Congress strongly rebutted the claim and insisted that the report in the Urdu newspaper was "Concocted". Irfan Habib, the historian who was also present at the meeting that recently took place, between Muslim intellectuals and Rahul Gandhi, had also denied that Mr Gandhi had said anything of the sorts. However, Ms Sitharaman's press conference was widely reported.

Also Read: P Chidambaram Replies To Nirmala Sitharaman's Attack On Congress

 

"I read in the newspapers that naamdaar (entitled) said the Congress is a party of the Muslims. I am not surprised... When the previous prime minister was in charge , he said openly that the first use of natural resources should be with Muslims," he said at a public meeting in Azamgarh to inaugurate projects, his first stop in eastern Uttar Pradesh. This is his second visit in a fortnight.

The PM also stated that he had no issues if this is how the Congress president wanted his party to be. He said, "But I want to ask the Congress - are you a party of only Muslim men but also of Muslim women," before accusing the opposition of blocking the law in parliament that would make triple talaq a crime.

The BJP's repeated reference to the "concocted" news report is seen by the Congress as an effort to polarise the 2019 elections along communal lines to counter the opposition unity moves in Uttar Pradesh and beyond.

But PM Modi's choice of Azamgarh to launch the attack is also interesting.

Azamgarh has been a dark spot for the Bhartiye Janata Party, which swept the 2014 Lok Sabha elections in UP but lost the Azamgarh seat to Mulayam Singh Yadav, the former chief of Samajwadi Party. 

The Bhartiye Janata Party routed Akhilesh Yadav's Samajwadi Party and Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party, everywhere else in UP, but it managed to win just one out of Azamgarh's 10 assembly seats conceding the rest to now allies Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati.

Not just 'Vikas' or development, the Bhartiye Janata Party is staring at a formidable caste combination in Azamgarh. It has a 70 per cent combined population of OBCs, Dalits and Muslims. These are the bloc of voters opposistion leaders, Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav hope to cement in their favour with their alliance in Uttar Pradesh, and take their wins much beyond Azamgarh in the Lok Sabha polls of 2019.

This alliance was also targeted by PM Modi, saying that people who earlier couldn't even bear to see each other, had come together. And he underlined it, that they had done it because of their self-interest. "Because if farmers, dalits backwards get empowered, these parties will have to shut their shops," he said.

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