Under attack over alleged attempts at tinkering with quotas, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today hit back, accusing Bihar’s grand alliance of plotting to give away five per cent share in reservations for SCs, STs and OBCs to “a particular community”, a move he vowed to oppose even if it meant “sacrificing” his life.
Modi said the leaders of “Mahaswarth” (opportunistic) alliance were trying to mislead the people on the issue of reservation as Constitution does not provide for quotas based on religion. He also said the Supreme Court had put a cap of 50 per cent on reservations.
“These leaders are making a devious plan. They are conspiring to take away 5 per cent reservation of dalits, mahadalits, backwards and extremely backwards and give it to a particular community.
“I come from an extremely backward class and understand the pain of having been born to a poor woman. I will not allow this to happen. I pledge to protect the rights of dalits, mahadalits and backwards, even if it means sacrificing my life,” he said addressing an election rally in Buxar.
Modi attacked the grand alliance leaders Nitish Kumar, Lalu Prasad and Sonia Gandhi for trying to “mislead” the people reservation and said he will never allow quotas on religious lines.
“Nobody will be allowed to take away the rights of dalits, mahadalits and backwards and give it to any other community in pursuit of their votebank politics,” he said.
If the anti-BJP alliance is voted to power ‘Jungle raj’ will return and crimes like kidnappings and atrocities on women will rise, he warned.
Modi also attacked Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and RJD chief Lalu Prasad for not acting against the corrupt and cited recent examples where their MLAs and candidates were allegedly found taking bribe and “fixing deals”.
Attacking leaders of the grand alliance, he said a JD(U) MLA and a candidate of Lalu Prasad’s RJD had been caught red-handed taking bribe, but no action was taken against them.
“I want to ask these people, why are they silent on the issue of corruption after they were caught on camera taking bribe. Even before the polls, they are selling away Bihar and striking deals.
“Should Bihar be handed over to those who are out to sell it? Should Bihar be given to them? Should those who engage in corruption and protect the corrupt be allowed to form a government in Bihar?” he asked.
Hitting out at RJD chief Lalu Prasad, he said, “For them taking money is no big thing.”
Modi said while the grand alliance leaders were fighting a battle to keep Bihar backward, he himself was fighting to take it forward. “It is for the voters to decide which way to go,” he said.
He alleged Congress, RJD and JD(U) leadership “ruined” generations in Bihar during 60 years of their collective rule and termed the large crowds at his public rallies as “parivartan ka mela” (festival of change).