Fact-check on Modi’s claims on Qabristan, Shamsan, Ramzan and Diwali

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s detractors on Monday stepped up their attack on him for they said were his ‘lies’ during his speech at Fatehpur on Sunday.

While addressing a poll rally in Fatehpur in UP yesterday, Modi had stressed that there should be “no discrimination on the basis of caste and religion.”

Modi qabristan shamsan

He had said, “Agar kabristan me bijli hai to shamshaan me bhi honi chahiye. Agar Ramzan mein bijli aati hai, to Diwali me bhi aani chahiye, bhedbhav nahi hona chahiye (If there is electricity in the graveyard and during Ramzan, it must also be available in a crematorium and during Diwali. There should be no discrimination).”

This, many believed, was a clear violation of the Supreme Court’s directive describing attempt to seek votes in the name of religion as indulging in corrupt practices.

On Monday, the CPI-M general secretary, Sitaram Yechury, said that Modi was attempting to polarise votes along religious lines.

“It is a straightforward appeal, an effort for communal polarisation. The talk about kabristan (graveyard) and cremation, Holi and Eid, Diwali and Ramzan…the counter- posing (of these words) itself is an appeal to communal sentiments,” CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said in an interaction with PTI journalists here.

And Modi’s communal speech did not come in isolation. His close confidante and the BJP’s national president, Amit Shah, too did not appear to care about the apex court’s verdict when he explicitly sought votes by indulging in hatemongering against Muslims in particular.

Speaking in Mathura on 4 February, Shah had told the crowd that his audience did not get laptops from the Uttar Pradesh chief minister, Akhilesh Yadav, because of their religion as they were not the vote-bank for the ruling party. (Watch from 30′.30″ onward)

Meanwhile, more facts have emerged in sharp contradiction to Modi’s ‘lies.’ Team Akhilesh have dug out old official releases to conclude that Modi had indulged in utter lies while making his communal speech on Sunday.

An official communique from the state government in October last year had explicitly directed the administration to ensure power supply during Diwali.

The statement had said, “Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mr. Akhilesh Yadav has issued directives to officers to ensure that all arrangements were in place for the festival of Diwali. On this occasion, he said measures should be made to ensure proper traffic movement and adequate power supply.

The same was tweeted by Akhilesh’s office;

https://twitter.com/CMOfficeUP/status/789864313435676673

Elsewhere, a tweet by ABP journalist Pankaj Jha, conclusively proved that the Akhilesh government did not act with biases ‘between Diwali and Eid.’

His tweet said, “Eid was on 6 July,supply was 13500 MW where as Deepawali was from 28 oct -1 Nov, supply was for 24 hrs all the 5 days to a tune of 15400 MW.”

As for Modi’s statement on ignoring Hindu’s cremation grounds while building Muslims’ burial places too appears to be made without any fact-checking exercise.

On 24 February, 2015, Akhilesh government had announced the allocation of Rs 100 crore for the development of cremation and burial places. The budgetary allocation did not make any distinction based on religion or castes.

The chief minister’s office had posted the following tweet then;

https://twitter.com/CMOfficeUP/status/570168596082487296

 

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