‘My mother’s mangalsutra was sacrificed for this country’: Priyanka hits back at PM over attack on Congress

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BENGALURU: Lashing out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks that Congress wants to snatch “mangalsutra” of women as part of its intention to redistribute wealth, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi on Tuesday said he is making such remarks so that they vote for him out of fear in Lok Sabha polls and he “should be ashamed”.

“In the last two days, they are discussing that the Congress party wants to rob you of your mangalsutra, your gold. It has been over 70 years the country got Independence. The Congress has been in power for around 55 years. Has anyone taken your gold, your mangalsutra? When we were at war, Indira Gandhi gave her gold to the country. My mother’s (Sonia Gandhi) mangalsutra was sacrificed for this country,” Gandhi said, referring to the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi by a suicide bomber in Tamil Nadu in 1991.

Speaking at a rally in Bengaluru, the Congress general secretary also alleged that Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders do not understand the struggle of women.

“The truth is that they do not understand women’s struggles. The service in women’s hearts is ingrained in the culture of our country. Women do not sleep till everyone in her home goes to sleep. If her family suffers from any financial trouble, she mortgages her gold. She will sleep starving but won’t allow anyone else to go to bed without having food. They (BJP) do not know their struggle,” Priyanka Gandhi alleged.

She also spoke about demonetisation, lockdown during COVID-19 and farmers’ agitation against farm laws that were later withdrawn.

“If Modiji had understood the importance of ‘mangalsutra’, he would not have said such immoral things…When demonetization happened, he took away the savings of women…During the farmers’ protest, 600 farmers lost their lives, did Modi ji think about the ‘mangalsutra’ of those widows? When a woman was paraded naked in Manipur, Modiji was silent, he did not say anything. Did he think about her ‘mangalsutra’? Today for the votes, he is saying such things to the women, scaring them so that they vote out of fear. He should be ashamed,” she added.

PM Modi alleged on Saturday that the Congress wants to take away the gold and property of people and distribute it among “those having more children”.

He said that those who left Congress these days have pointed towards the party’s manifesto and said that the party has gone into “grasp of urban Naxals.”

Referring to reports about Congress’s intention to redistribute wealth if elected to power, the Prime Minister said the party would conduct a survey and they would not even let Mangalsutra remain with women and “will go to this extent.”

PM Modi, who addressed an election rally in Banswara in Rajasthan, took several jibes at Congress.

“These days those who left Congress tell one thing very seriously, they are all saying that Congress is no longer Congress, it has gone into the grasp of urban Naxals. Congress is now in the grab of Communists. One of our friends asked them how can you say this, they said look at their (Congress) manifesto. See the Congress manifesto of this election. What Congress has said in its manifesto is serious and worrying. And it is their attempt to implement the Maoist thinking. They have said that if Congress government is formed, there will be survey of property belonging to each person. How much gold our sisters have, that will be found out, calculated,” PM Modi said.

“Our tribal families have silver, that will be evaluated,…how much property government employees have, money, job that will be probed. Not only this, they have said that the gold that the sisters have, and other property, that will be distributed equally. Is it acceptable to you? Does the government have a right to snatch your property? Does the government have the right to take the wealth built by you with your hard work?” PM Modi asked.

He said the gold that mothers and sisters have is not for show only, it is linked to their self-respect.

“Their Mangalsutra, the question is not of the cost of gold in it, it is linked to her dreams of her life. You are talking of snatching it in your manifesto…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, distribute to infiltrators. Will the money of your hard labour be given to infiltrators, is this acceptable to you? Congress manifesto is saying that they will calculate the gold of mothers, sisters and then redistribute the wealth to those whom the Manmohan Singh government had said that the first right to resources is of Muslims. Brothers, sisters, this thinking of urban Naxals, my mothers, sisters, they will not allow even your Mangalsutra remain in your possession, they will go to this extent,” PM Modi said.

PM Modi was referring to former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s remarks made in December 2006 that the minorities, particularly Muslim minorities, should have first claim on the country’s resources.

“We will have to devise innovative plans to ensure that minorities, particularly the Muslim minority, are empowered to share equitably in the fruits of development. They must have the first claim on resources,” Dr Manmohan Singh had said.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who had been emphasizing a caste survey, had said in Hyderabad on April 7 after the Congress manifesto was released, that if elected to power, Congress will also hold a “financial and institutional survey” to know who possesses the wealth of India. He said after this “historical step, revolutionary work will be done” to give people their rights based on the population.

The Congress party later stated that it didn’t mention “redistribution” in its manifesto and nor did Rahul Gandhi promise to redistribute the nation’s wealth. Party leader Jairam Ramesh asserted that the party favours a “comprehensive socio-economic caste census,” while alleging that Gandhi had been “misquoted”.

Jairam Ramesh said the party is for caste census combined with a survey of national assets and governance systems, which is updated from time to time.

“This survey of caste groups, national assets, and representation in governance systems – collectively called a comprehensive socio-economic Caste Census – is the only solution to ensure an India with equal opportunity for all. Equal opportunity is the objective,” he had said in a post on X.
Congress has also filed a complaint with the Election Commission over PM Modi’s remarks in his rallies.

Priyanka Gandhi also accused Prime Minister Modi of deliberately trying to divert the public attention from real issues by exploiting their religious sentiments, since “he had nothing to show for his ten years”.

Priyanka Gandhi asserted that the Congress party knows how to protect the mangalsutra and dignity of women and that is why it has announced to provide Rs one lakh every year to one woman in every poor family and 50 per cent reservation in government jobs for women. (ANI)

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