Modi calls for removing fear among minorities - GulfToday

Modi calls for removing fear among minorities


Amit Shah feeds sweets to Narendra Modi during a NDA meeting at the parliament in New Delhi on Saturday. Agence France-Presse

Accusing opposition parties of using minorities for electoral gains, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said that the BJP and his allies should remove the sense of fear among them as everybody needs to be taken along for the country’s prosperity.

“Unfortunately, minorities of this country have been kept in fear, used in elections. We have to end this cycle,” Modi said, calling for winning the trust and confidence of minorities.

He accused the opposition parties of keeping the minorities confused and frightened, instead of working on the improvement of education and health among them. Modi also said that poor people of this country have been cheated.

“We have worked for ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas,’ now we have to strive for ‘Sabka Vishwas.’”

“The ones who vote for us, are a part of us. The ones who don’t, are also a part of us,” he said, stressing that no one must be left behind and there should be no discrimination.

Meanwhile, 6 of Modi’s ministers lost their seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

They are — Manoj Sinha, Hansraj Ahir, Hardeep Singh Puri, Pon Radhakrishnan, KJ Alphons and Ananth Geete (Shiv Sena). Meanwhile Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah said the air strike in Pakistan’s Balakot in response to the Pulwama terror attack was a reply to those who had dismissed the cross-LoC surgical strike of September 2016 as fluke.

Speaking at the NDA Parliamentary meeting, Shah said the surgical strike and the Balakot air strike proved that India had a leader who could target the terrorists in their den.

“During the 90s, when terrorism raised its head and shook the country, people felt that the then governments were not serious about the safety and security of the country. For the first time under the Modi government, people have confidence that here is a leader who can hit the terrorists in their den,” he said.

He further said that people’s mandate in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections underlined that governments will be elected on the basis of their performance, not dynasty, caste politics or appeasement politics.

Separately, more than 40 per cent of lawmakers in India’s new parliament face criminal charges — some as serious as murder and rape — and the list is growing, an electoral reform group said on Saturday. One member of parliament for the opposition Congress party is battling 204 cases including manslaughter and robbery, the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) said.

At least 233 of the 543 members named as winning seats on Thursday face criminal proceedings, according to the ADR, whose election chief Anil Verma said there is a “disturbing trend” in parliament that “is bad for the democracy.”

The ADR said it studied the records of 539 of the winners and found that the number facing criminal cases was the highest since it started studies in 2004.

The report said 116 of the 303 lawmakers from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BJP landslide win face charges, including one for terrorism.

Twenty-nine of the 52 Congress MPs face cases. Dean Kuriakose from Idukki, in Kerala state, faces 204 criminal cases.

The ADR said the number of lawmakers facing grave criminal cases had more than doubled in a decade — including 11 murder cases, 30 manslaughter charges and three accused of rape.

None of the 185 lawmakers from the previous parliament who faced criminal cases was convicted.

Verma said the political class sought to avoid reform. But he added: “We will continue to legally fight this menace and demand that courts bar candidates facing criminal charges.”

Many have returned for a new term.

Separately, a Muslim family in Uttar Pradesh’s Gonda district who has named their newborn son Narendra Damodardas Modi. The child was born on May 23. The infant’s mother, Mehnaaz Begum, wanted to name her son after the prime minister and stood her ground in face of expected opposition from her family.

The newborn’s father Mushtaq Ahmad, however, supported his wife and the baby was named after Modi. The baby’s grandfather Idris said that the family agreed to the name because of their admiration for the prime minister.

Commenting on the development, BJP spokesman Harish Srivastava said: “There could not be a bigger example of the ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas’ concept that did not differentiate between Hindus and Muslims. It is only the pseudo-secular forces that want to create an atmosphere of terror. Muslims are beginning to realise that the Modi government means well for them too. This family has proved it.”


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