News Brief

The Day I Indulge 'Hindu-Muslim', My Politics Will End: PM Modi In Interview

Kuldeep Negi

May 15, 2024, 11:12 AM | Updated 11:12 AM IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has clarified his remarks on "infiltrators" and "those with more children", saying that his comments were not directed only at Muslims but at all poor families.

Earlier last month, at a rally in Rajasthan, PM Modi alleged that Congress wants to take away the gold and property of people and distribute it among "those with more children".

In an interview with News18 on Tuesday (21 May), PM Modi also said that he doesn't work for a vote bank.

When asked why he called out Muslims for “having more children”, the Prime Minister said, “I’m shocked. Why do people assume I’m talking about Muslims when I talk about people having too many children? Even poor Hindu families have this issue. They are not being able to give their kids proper education. I have neither named Hindus nor Muslims. I’ve just made an appeal that have only many kids as you can take care of".

Asked whether Muslims would vote for him in this Lok Sabha election, he said, “I believe that the people of the country will vote for me. The day I start doing Hindu-Muslim, I won’t be fit to live in public life. I will not do Hindu-Muslim divide, this is my commitment".

Further explaining his government's approach of non-discrimination, PM Modi said, "If I give a house, I am talking about saturation, 100 per cent delivery. This means, suppose there are 200 houses in a village – irrespective of which society, which caste, which religion – if there are 60 lakh Indians in those 200 houses, then those 60 lakh people should get it. And when I say 100 per cent saturation, it means true social justice. It is true secularism. When there is no possibility of corruption,".

Referring to the 2002 post-Godhra riots in Gujarat when he was the Chief Minister of the state, PM Modi said that his opponents "tarnished" his image among the Muslims after 2002.

"This issue is not about Muslims. Irrespective of how supportive individual Muslims are of Modi, there is a wave of thought that dictates to them, 'do this, do that'. In my house, there are all Muslim families around me. Eid was also celebrated in our house, and there were other festivals in our house. Food was not cooked in our house on the day of Eid. Food used to come to my place from all the Muslim families. When Muharram started, we needed to come out from under the Tajiya, we were taught. I grew up in that world. Even today, many of my friends are Muslims. After 2002 (Godhra), my image was tarnished," he added.

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Kuldeep is Senior Editor (Newsroom) at Swarajya. He tweets at @kaydnegi.

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