PM Modi promises to reach out to minorities in second term as PM, says community ‘has been cheated’


Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday made a passionate speech promising to reach out to minorities, who he said had been cheated by successive governments in the past.


In his speech lasting over 75 minutes after being elected as the parliamentary party leader of the NDA, Modi promised to ‘a new journey to build a new India with new energy’ and reached out to minorities. He also urged the NDA alliance partners to make conscious efforts to win the trust of minorities without any discrimination.

Modi was widely criticised during the election campaign for seeking votes by adopting divisive politics and instilling fear of minorities among India’s Hindu population. His tone on Saturday was, however, different. He said, “Our mantra should be sabka saath, sabka vikas and sabka vishwas (with all, for everybody’s development and by winning everyone’s trust).”

Modi, began his speech by bowing before the constitution, said that minorities could not be handed over to the opposition, ‘who benefit because we keep quiet.’ Speaking at the Central Hall of the parliament, Modi also accused his political adversaries of making minorities live in fear and exploiting them during elections as part of their vote-bank politics.

“For 70 years, India’s poor were betrayed. In the last 5 years, an effort was made to change this culture. Similarly, for 70 years, minorities were treated only as vote banks. ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas’ aims to correct this wrong and work towards real empowerment,” Modi wrote on Twitter sharing the video of his speech.

He continued, “We have to break through this deception. We have to win their trust… It is a big responsibility that we have to fulfill. Those who vote us are ours and even our most trenchant opponents are ours. We cannot believe in any discrimination.”

Modi’s emphasis on winning the hearts and minds of India’s Muslim community came hours after US Congresswoman Ilhan Omar wrote on Twitter, “PM Modi’s rule in India has corresponded with the spread of violent Hindu nationalism and hate crimes against Muslims. The United States should stand for religious freedom in India and the fair treatment of all religious minorities.”

Reacting to Modi’s comments on minorities, AIMIM President Asaduddin Owaisi wrote, “PMO India, we can either be appeased or cheated.Since you say it’s the latter, ask BJP to stop saying the former. You’re opposing minority character of JMI & AMU, you quietly oversaw minority lynchings, ignored the victims of Mecca Masjid & Ajmer.”


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