‘This has been his tactic to divide’: Congress on PM Modi’s ‘mangalsutra’ remark

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BENGALURU: Congress national president Mallikarjun Kharge slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘mangalsutra’ remarks at Rajasthan’s Banswara rally, saying this has always been his (PM Modi) tactic to divide.

“This has always been his (PM Modi) tactic to divide. How to take the country forward is important. Ignoring this, he is talking about Hindu-Muslim, Scheduled Caste and Other Backward Caste. He is doing all this for votes, not for the benefit of the country”, said Kharge.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi alleged that the Congress wants to take away the gold and property of people and distribute it among “those having more children.” While stressing the importance of ‘mangalsutra’ (traditional Indian jewellery worn by married Indian women) for women, he said that no government has the power to snatch it away”.

“When they (Congress) were in government, they said that Muslims have the first right over India’s resources. So, they will distribute this wealth (property and gold) among those having more children, among illegal immigrants…this Urban Naxal thinking won’t even spare your mangalsutra”, the PM said.

Congress alleged that PM Modi and the BJP have deliberately and repeatedly invoked religion, religious symbols and religious sentiments in its election campaign and the same is being done without any impunity.

Meanwhile, senior Congress leader and advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi on Monday said that the party, in its petition to the Election Commission of India, has urged to take ‘appropriate action’ against Prime Minister Narendra Modi ‘irrespective of the status of the person’ over the PM’s recent speech in Rajasthan’s Banswara.

Singhvi said that the Prime Minister’s statement was ‘seriously, ridiculously objectionable’. “I have had the privilege of leading the Congress delegation involving about 17 complaints to the ECI. Most important is the first one which deals with the extremely objectionable comments of no less than the Chief Executive of this government. We respect the office he holds. He is as much as our Prime Minister as he is yours and he is BJP’s. Unfortunately, the statement we have quoted is seriously, ridiculously objectionable. We pray to him (PM Modi) with folded hands to withdraw this statement and to clarify. We have asked the Election Commission to state that this is the position in law, we will do in his respect, whatever we do with others,” Singhvi said while talking to reporters after the delegation of Congress met with the Election Commission of India on Monday.

“I am not going to quote what he has said. He has named a community, he has talked of religion blatantly, he has talked of communal and community blatantly. He has linked it with deprivation of resources of the majority and garnering and monopolisation of that resources by that minority. He has brought in Hindu imagery of no less than the Mangalsutra, therefore clearly violated Section 123, the basic principle of not allowing excitement and information of communal passions,” the senior Congress leader said.

He called the speech a “very serious, uncalled-for invasion” of the Constitution’s basic structure and appealed to the ECI for action.

“Several circulars of the ECI on the MCC, the latest being on March 1, 2024. The constitutional ethos and spirit that make secularism a basic structure in our Consitution, makes a level playing field and democracy itself a part of the basic structure. A basic structure means that a constitutional amendment cannot violate the basic structure. This is a very serious, uncalled-for invasion and we hope and trust because the ECI is itself on trial that irrespective of the status of the person who has done this appropriate action as in any other case will and must follow shortly,” Singhvi said.

Kharge also said that the Congress is going to get more seats in Karnataka. “Congress is going to get more number seats in Karnataka…The people of Karnataka have changed. This time they are not going to give him any seats (BJP)”, he told reporters here on Tuesday.

He was reacting to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘mangalsutra’ remarks at a public rally.

The Lok Sabha polls are being held in India in seven phases, from April 19 to June 1 to elect the 543 members of the 18th Lok Sabha. (ANI)

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