Election Commission
Election CommissionIANS

During his election campaign, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's assertion that former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh advocated for Muslims to have the primary claim on the country's resources has sparked considerable political debate. Opposition parties have voiced strong objections to the statements made by the PM during his rallies in Rajasthan.

The Congress party has taken the matter to the Election Commission of India (ECI) urging action against PM Modi. Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge condemned Modi's remarks as "hate speech," emphasizing that they have "degraded the integrity of political dialogue."

The complaint from the Congress party focused on a specific segment of Modi's speech where he remarked, "When they (Congress) were in power earlier, they said that Muslims have the first right to the country's resources... This is Urban Naxal thinking, and mothers and sisters, they will not even spare your Mangalsutra."

Kharge stated on X, "Today Modi ji's panic-filled speech showed that INDIA is winning in the first phase results. What Modi ji said is not only a hate speech but also a well thought out ploy to divert attention... The 140 crore people of the country are no longer going to fall prey to this lie."

However, the ECI declined to comment on Modi's speech, which the Congress alleged violates several sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Model Code of Conduct, leading to a barrage of complaints to the poll panel.

Did Singh actually advocate for Muslims to have the first right to resources?

During the 52nd National Development Council meeting, Singh emphasized "collective priorities." He spoke about the imperative to develop various sectors such as agriculture, irrigation, water resources, health, and education, alongside programs for the upliftment of SC/STs, other backward classes, minorities, women, and children. Singh stressed the need for minorities, particularly the Muslim minority, to have an equitable share in development resources, stating, "They must have the first claim on resources."

Dr Manmohan Singh
Dr Manmohan SinghFacebook

This clarifies that Manmohan Singh underscored the importance of prioritizing plans and schemes for the upliftment of Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST), other backward classes, women, children, and minorities, rather than exclusively focusing on the Muslim community.