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Congress should give in writing it will not grant reservation based on religion, says Modi

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Banaskantha (Gujarat), May 1 (PTI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday claimed the Congress wants to give religion-based reservation, and challenged the party and its INDIA bloc allies to give a written guarantee that they will never do so and also not tinker with the existing quota for SCs/ STs/OBCs.

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Targeting the Congress, he said, "Your intention is to give reservation to Muslims in the name of religion." In his first election rally here in Gujarat after the Lok Sabha poll schedule announcement, Modi said as long as he and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) were around, reservation in jobs and education granted to SCs/STs/OBCs, and economically weaker sections will be safeguarded.

"I challenge the 'shehzada' (prince) of the Congress (referring to Rahul Gandhi), as well as his party and its supporters to announce they will never misuse reservation in the name of religion, nor will they play with the Constitution or grant reservation in the name of religion," emphasised the BJP stalwart.

"Let the Congress and INDI alliance give a guarantee in writing -- because they cannot be trusted -- that they will never give reservation in the name of religion. They should also give a second guarantee that they will never touch reservation given to SCs/STs/OBCs and (poor) in the general category. They will never do so...will never give it in writing," he noted.

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The Congress and INDIA bloc have come out with a lie, and are flashing copies of the Constitution (at poll rallies) to spread fear that the statute book will be changed and reservation given to SCs/STs /OBCs and EWS will be scrapped if the BJP-led NDA retains power, he said.

This is nothing, but a "completely fabricated gossip", the PM told the rally in Deesa town.

"The Congress and its people should listen carefully that this is Modi. As long as Modi is alive, I will not let you play the game of reservation in the name of the Constitution," he stressed.

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Modi pointed out the SCs/STs/OBCs and the poor from the general category have got reservation under Constitution with the blessings of Babasaheb Ambedkar, and nobody can take away even a part of it.

"I can say this with confidence -- and I say this on record in front of the world -- that as long as the BJP and Modi are around, reservation given by Babasaheb Ambedkar's Constitution to the SCs/STs/ OBCs and common man (EWS) will be safeguarded," he asserted.

The BJP leader noted the Congress has already experimented to give reservation to Muslims in Andhra Pradesh and it is now attempting the same in Karnataka, where the grand old party is in power, for vote-bank politics.

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"They (opposition) are spreading lie that Modi is seeking 400 seats to (abolish) reservation. They don't know that in the outgoing Lok Sabha, the BJP-led NDA had around 360 MPs, and the BJD and the YSRCP, which were not part of the NDA, supported us with the power of 400. But we are not born to commit such a sin, nor is it a way for us," he asserted.

Further attacking the Congress, Modi said it talked about opening "mohabbat ki dukaan" (shops of love - a slogan given by Rahul Gandhi), but is now circulating fake videos on social media.

"Imagine a party which has ruled the country for 60 years, had had so many PMs and ministers, has no word called truth to show the public. Their 'mohabbat ki dukaan' has started working as a fake factory," he said.

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Modi claimed videos, words, speeches, slogans and intentions of the Congress are fake, and it takes him lightly as a "chai wala".

"If you have courage, then attack from the front. Stop this fake video game. You can mislead people once, but the country will give you a big punishment," he declared.

Hitting out at Rahul Gandhi, the BJP's star campaigner said the Congress's 'shehzada' had called the Modi community and OBCs 'chor' (thief).

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Modi said the Congress targeted him personally since he first contested the Lok Sabha elections in 2014, and repeated the mistake in 2019 and even now the opposition party makes fun of him.

But the country responded to the grand old party in such a manner that it was "reduced to 40 from once winning 400 Lok Sabha seats (in 1984)", he said.

Modi pointed out that except the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), no other political outfit, including the Congress, has fielded even 272 candidates -- the minimum number of seats required for a simple majority in the 543-strong Lok Sabha and form a government.

"You talk about forming a government when you do not even field 272 candidates. Their situation is such that the 'shahi' family of the Congress will not be able to vote for the Congress as they do not have their party's candidate from where they vote (in Delhi)," he said.

The Congress and AAP will contest three and four Lok Sabha seats, respectively, in Delhi.

Even the family of Congress stalwart late Ahmed Patel will not be able to vote for the party in Bharuch (where AAP has fielded its candidate), he said.

"When the Congress released its manifesto, I said it had Muslim League imprint. Now they have started making announcements akin to Naxals," he said.

The PM said it was his guarantee to make India the world's third largest economy in his third term, and has a 100-day plan ready for his new tenure.

Gujarat will vote in a single phase on May 7. PTI KA PD RSY

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