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Narendra Modi accused of stoking tensions as voting continues in India | India

Narendra Modi accused of stoking tensions as voting continues in India |  India


Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was accused of hate speech during a campaign rally in which he called infiltrators Muslims who had many children and claimed they would take people's hard-earned money.

The opposition accused Modi of blatantly targeting India's 200 million Muslim minorities with comments made Sunday while addressing voters during a speech in Rajasthan.

India is currently in the midst of a general election, in which Modi and his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are seeking a third term in power. Voting will continue in stages until early June.

In his speech, Modi claimed that a previous government, led by the main opposition Congress party, had declared that Muslims had first right to the country's wealth.

The Prime Minister added that if the Congress wins the current elections, the wealth of the people will be distributed among those who have the most children. It will be distributed to infiltrators.

Do you think your hard-earned money should be given to the infiltrators? Would you accept this? Modi asked the crowd.

The comments provoked strong reactions among political opponents and civil society, who accused Modi of stoking religious tensions and fueling false conspiracies against Muslims.

Mallikarjun Kharge, president of the Congress party, accused Modi of hate speech and violating election rules that prohibit canvassing based on communal sentiments.

In response, the Congress filed a complaint with the Election Commission, alleging that the Prime Minister's controversial, objectionable and malicious comments targeted a particular religious community and were blatant and direct violations of election laws.

These measures are far worse than any ever committed by a sitting Prime Minister in the history of India, the complaint added. The electoral commission declined to comment.

Since the BJP came to power in 2014 with a Hindu nationalist agenda, it has been accused of policies and rhetoric targeting minorities, particularly Muslims, who have reportedly been subjected to increasing violence and persecution at the hands of the BJP. the state and right-wing Hindu vigilantes. outfits. The BJP does not have a single Muslim candidate in the fray in this election.

BJP figures such as Yogi Adityanath, a radical Hindu monk who is the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, have been accused of making derogatory remarks about Muslims in speeches. However, as prime minister, Modi has tended to avoid explicit mentions of Muslims and has instead been accused of dog-whistle politics and indirect references aimed at isolating Muslims.

BJP spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia told reporters that Modi was calling a spade a spade and his remarks echoed what people were thinking.

Nearly a billion people are registered to vote, with the first phase of voting taking place last Friday. The election is widely expected to return Modi and the BJP to power when results are counted on June 4.

On Monday, voting had to be resumed in 11 polling stations in the state of Manipur, in the northeast of the country, affected by months of ethnic clashes. Reports of violence and damage to voting machines led authorities to declare the vote invalid.

At least six cases of groups attempting to capture polling stations were reported in the state capital Imphal, an election official said. Armed crowds arrived and tried to take control of the polling station, he said.

The Congress party demanded a re-poll at 47 polling stations in Manipur, alleging that polling booths were captured and the elections were rigged.




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