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2-min read

'Let Muslims Live in Gutters': PM Modi Quotes Rajiv Gandhi's Minister in House Address, Draws Oppn Ire

The Prime Minister also castigated the Congress leadership on Uniform Civil Code and Triple Talaaq issues.


Updated:June 26, 2019, 9:00 AM IST

New Delhi: Prime Minister Modi, in his speech on the Motion of Thanks, flayed the Congress leadership quoting purportedly from a recent interview given by Arif Mohammad Khan in which he had talked about the party leadership during late PM Rajiv Gandhi’s time saying "were of the opinion that it was not the job of the Congress party to reform Muslims, (they said) “if they want to lie in the gutter, let them be”." Modi, who offered to share Youtube links of the interview, called the Congress' alleged attitude shameful.

The reference was most likely to a television interview given by Khan while he was talking about the Shah Bano case.

"I do not believe that Rajiv Gandhi took the decision to overturn the Supreme Court verdict on his own. He had a modern mind and was averse to obscurantism. I have, in fact, seen Rajiv Gandhi’s noting on the file, in which he had clearly written that “there should be no compromise with obscurantist and fundamentalist elements,” Khan had said in the interview.

He further said Rajiv Gandhi was "pressurised to do so by the likes of PV Narasimha Rao, Arjun Singh and ND Tewari (then ministers in the government). They were of the opinion that it was not the job of the Congress party to reform Muslims, (they said) “if they want to lie in the gutter let them be”.

Modi also launched a veiled attack against Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, saying those who are out on bail should enjoy themselves, the government will continue to do perform its duties.

Modi's barbs against the Congress leadership could be seen as a counter-attack to the statement made by Congress' Lok Sabha leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, who had in his recent speech in Parliament, had dared the Modi government to send Sonia and Rahul Gandhi to jail.

This is what Chowdhury had said in his speech, "Did you manage to catch anybody in 2G and coal allocation scam? Did you manage to send Sonia Gandhiji and Rahul Gandhiji behind the bars? You came to power by calling them thieves, then how are they sitting in Parliament? Why are not they in jail."

On Tuesday, Modi said, "We are often criticised on why we haven't put so-and-so in jail. We are people who go by the law of the land. Those who are out on bail should enjoy themselves. But our fight against corruption will continue. The country has already given us so much, we don't need to take recourse to any illegality."

He also castigated the Congress on Uniform Civil Code and Triple Talaaq issues.

"In the 50s, the Congress had option to introduce legislation on 'Uniform Civil Code but they didn't. They had another opportunity in the form of the Shah Bano case. It was a classic case of gender equality but they frittered away that opportunity," Modi said.

He added that the Congress had another opportunity 35 years later, i.e. in the current session. "There is no need to look at it from any community particular's point of view," he said.

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