The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.

India opposition criticises Modi for ‘hate speech’

Indian opposition leaders have criticised PM Narendra Modi’s latest remarks that they say were aimed at Muslims. Mr Modi said the main opposition Congress party wanted to distribute people’s wealth to “infiltrators” and “those who have many children”. He did not directly say he was talking about the minority community but added the Congress believed Muslims had the first right over the nation’s wealth. Congress has rejected the claim. The first of the seven phases of India’s general elections was held on 19 April. Results will be declared on 4 June. Mr Modi made the comments on Sunday during an election rally, when he was talking about the Congress party’s manifesto. He alleged that the manifesto said it would “take stock” of the gold women traditionally save in India and redistribute it. “And their earlier [Congress] government had said that Muslims have the first right over the nation’s wealth,” Mr Modi alleged. “This means that they [the Congress] will collect people’s wealth and distribute it to whom?” he asked the audience. “To those who have more children. To the infiltrators. Should your hard-earned money be given to infiltrators?” he added Mr Modi was referring to a 2006 speech by Manmohan Singh, who was then prime minister, where he spoke about empowering the Muslim community so they could share in the fruits of development. The Muslim community has often been subjected to the stereotype of having many children. But experts say that this claim is distorted, lacks nuance and opens the community up to prejudicial treatment. Opposition leaders across parties have criticised the prime minister’s comments. Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge defended his party’s manifesto, saying that it was “for every Indian” and it talks about equality and justice for all. He called Mr Modi’s remarks a panic-filled “hate speech” and a ploy to divert people’s attention from the opposition having performed better than his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the first phase of polling in India’s general elections. “In the history of India, no prime minister has lowered the dignity of his post as much as Modiji has,” he said. All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ulMuslimeen president Asaduddin Owaisi said that “Modi today called Muslims infiltrators and people with many children” and added that since 2002, the only “Modi guarantee” has been “to abuse Muslims and get votes”. bbc

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.