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IndiaDaggers drawn on poll day, BJP accuses Congress of hidden agenda to...

Daggers drawn on poll day, BJP accuses Congress of hidden agenda to snatch majority rights for Muslims


New Delhi, Apr 26: On the big voting day on Friday, it was daggers drawn between the principal rivals BJP and Congress with top saffron leaders accusing the Congress of nurturing a “hidden agenda to snatch majority rights to benefit the Muslims.”

While Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to X asking voters “never to forgive or forget the Congress for decades of loot, for weakening 's security and mocking Indian culture”, BJP president JP Nadda led the attack on the issue of reservations which the BJP has been hammering against the Grand Old Party since the day its poll manifesto was unveiled.

Expanding PM's charge that the Congress Nyay Patra had an imprint of the Muslim League, Nadda said the hidden agenda of the Congress and INDI alliance is to snatch the rights of SCs, STs, OBCs and give these to the Muslims.

Slamming the Congress manifesto for claiming that majoritarianism has no space in society, Nadda said, “SCs, STs, OBCs form the majority in India and Congress hatred for the majority is evident.”

Nadda went on to cement his charge with a range of examples involving the policies of erstwhile Congress-led UPA and Congress-led state governments in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

The Congress, both at the Central and state levels, has in the past attempted Muslim reservation which has failed the test of law.

The BJP also circulated old videos showing then UPA prime minister Manmohan Singh proclaiming that minorities, especially the Muslims, have the first right on national resources.

“The Congress says that Muslims have the first claim on national resources. PM Narendra Modi says poor have the first claim on national resources. In December 2006 while addressing the National Development Council then PM Manmohan Singh said we will have to devise innovative plans to ensure that minorities particularly the Muslim minority are empowered to share equitable the fruits of development.

“He said they must have the first claim on resources. Manmohan Singh did not make this statement mistakenly. He said so deliberately. Again in April 2009 during a press conference in Mumbai Singh Singh reiterated his stand that minorities especially Muslims must get priority and must have the first claim on national resources,” Nadda said in a video message as 88 Lok Sabha seats went to polls across 13 states and UTs with polls in Kerala, Rajasthan, and Tripura set to conclude today itself.

Nadda said the UPA spread falsehoods in the name of Sachar Committee which concluded that Muslims were worse off than Dalits.

“This shows the Congress had been laying the ground for declaration of Muslims as SCs to enable benefits meant for SCs to flow to the Muslims,” said the BJP chief alleging that the Congress habit of plundering the rights of SCs, STs and OBCs was very old.

“BR Ambedkar on October 17, 1951, said that in the last 20 years Pt Nehru made 2000 speeches but never once espoused the cause of SC welfare. You can imagine how sympathetic the Congress has been to our people. Pt Nehru always favoured the Muslims. We also do not want Muslims to be ignored but we want to state it clearly that the Muslims should not reap undue benefit at the cost of other communities,” the BJP chief said, clarifying his party's stand.

He said only those communities should reap benefits which are in actual need of additional social security cover.

Intensifying the offensive against the Congress, Nadda said the Grand Old Party hatched a conspiracy to claim that Muslim community also had castes and so should be considered as SC.

”This was done through the establishment of the National Linguistic and Religious Minorities Commission. The Congress said if any SC converted to Islam, his SC status should be retained. They also argued that six per cent out of the overall 27 % OBC reservation should be given to Muslims,” said Nadda.

The BJP supremo recalled history to lament that the Congress bypassed court orders to do away with the SC, ST, OBC reservation in educational institutions like the Aligarh Muslim University and Jamia Millia Islamia, both Central varsities.

”In 1981 — Congress brought the AMU Amendment Act to change the court order and scrap SC, ST, OBC quotas in AMU.  Congress tried to bring Muslim reservation four times in Andhra but was frustrated due to the intervention of the apex court. The 2009 Lok Sabha manifesto of Congress spoke of Muslim reservation in and educational institutions nationally. Congress also wanted a Muslim sub quota within the OBC quota,” said Nadda.

He then flagged the 2011 development wherein the minority affairs ministry under Congress led UPA 2 proposed an 8.4 % sub quota within 27 pc OBC quota with 6 % Muslim set aside for Muslims.

”In its 2014 Lok Sabha manifesto also the Congress said the same thing. This time also it is saying the same thing. In Karnataka BJP removed religion based reservation but the Congress government placed Muslims in the OBC category. Category 2B was formed within the OBC segment to extend reservation to Muslims,” Nadda said.

The BJP chief pointed to the 2024 Congress manifesto to say, “It mentions that majoritarianism has no place in India. This means the Congress hates SCs, STs, OBCs because these very communities form the majority in India. This is the Congress manifesto and this is Congress history,” said Nadda as the BJP went all out to defend 68% of all 88 seats that go to polls today, while the Congress-led INDIA bloc seeks to dent BJP citadels in Rajasthan, Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Uttar Pradesh.

The Congress hopes to do particularly well in Kerala, the state which gave it the maximum Lok Sabha seats — 15 — in 2019, followed by eight in .

The BJP had not won even one among Kerala's 20 seats, while the Left had won one—Alapuzzha, where AICC general secretary KC Venugopal (who lost to a CPM candidate) in 2019 — has been fielded again.

The BJP holds all of the following seats going to polls on Friday: All 13 in Rajasthan, all eight in Maharashtra, all seven in MP, four in five in Assam and Bihar each.

In UP the BJP has MPs in seven of the eight seats that will poll Friday.

Overall, the BJP led NDA won nearly 68 % of all phase 2 poll seats in 2019.

While BJP's burden on Friday would be , that of Congress led INDIA alliance would be offence.

The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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