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Rahul Gandhi has same agenda on minorities as Manmohan Singh: Tawde

'Caste-based census is not Rahul Gandhi's agenda. His agenda is what Manmohan Singh had stated earlier: minorities have the first right to the country's wealth,' Tawde told reporters.
Last Updated : 23 April 2024, 19:08 IST
Last Updated : 23 April 2024, 19:08 IST

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Mumbai: BJP general secretary Vinod Tawde on Tuesday claimed that like former prime minister Manmohan Singh, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's 'agenda' is that the minorities should have the first right to the country's wealth, and not tribals or Dalits.

He was replying to a question about the manifesto of the NCP led by Maharashtra deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, a BJP ally, which mentions a caste-based census. Congress too has been demanding such a survey.

"Caste-based census is not Rahul Gandhi's agenda. His agenda is what Manmohan Singh had stated earlier: minorities have the first right to the country's wealth," Tawde told reporters.

BJP welcomed anyone for a debate on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's remarks in this regard, Tawde added.

"I am using the words minorities; he (Manmohan Singh) had said very clearly that Adivasis and Dalits would not get anything. And there is no comment on it by Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, (Mallikarjun) Kharge, which means they approve of it. Does it mean that (Maharashtra Congress president) Nana Patole and his allies Sharad Pawar and Uddhav Thackeray also want the same thing that Singh had said?" he asked.

Asked about opposition's allegation that the BJP lowered the standard of the contest with the unopposed election in the Surat Lok Sabha constituency, Tawde said, "If a candidate files nomination papers with errors, it does not mean standards of the campaign were lowered. We had even requested that independent candidates withdraw their nominations before filing. How can such a request be termed as lowering the campaign standards?"

The BJP candidate was declared winner in Surat after the nomination of his Congress rival was rejected as his proposers disowned their signatures on the form and all other candidates subsequently pulled out of the race.

Tawde also alleged that Congress candidate from South Goa, Viriato Fernandes, had said that the country's Constitution should not be applicable to Goa.

"A Congress leader in Karnataka also made a similar statement. It is a fact that the country's Constitution was amended 80 times during the Congress regime... prime minister Narendra Modi started the celebration of Constitution Day. Unfortunately, Rahul Gandhi is continuously trying to mislead people. When there is no other issue, Congress starts a conversation about Constitution changing," the BJP leader said.

Without naming Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut, who recently used the word 'dancer' for the BJP's Amravati candidate Navneet Rana, Tawde, a former Maharashtra minister, lamented the declining standards of campaigning in the state.

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Published 23 April 2024, 19:08 IST

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