‘Taken out of context’, Maha Congress counters PM Modi’s remarks on Manmohan Singh’s 2006 NDC speech

Mumbai: Former Congress Rajya Sabha MP and noted economist Bhalchandra Mungekar said on Monday that as the Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi had attended the National Development Council (NDC) meeting presided over by then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2006, as he accused the Prime Minister of taking one sentence out of the ex-PM’s speech out of context to spread “falsehoods”.

The statement of Mungekar, a former member of the now-defunct Planning Commission of India, came after PM Modi claimed on Monday that Manmohan Singh’s government had said that Muslims have the first right to the country’s assets.

“At the NDC meeting held on December 9, 2006, then PM Singh had clearly said that ‘Dalits, tribals, OBCs, women, and the children of the country should be able to taste the fruits of development, and the minority community should also benefit from it, especially the Muslims’, Mungekar said during a presser here.

He said the former PM’s statement implied that the SCs, STs, OBCs, and minorities have the first right on the country’s resources, and ‘minority’ here means not only religious minorities, but also linguistic minorities, and the Justice Rajinder Sachar Commission Report on Muslims had just come out then (November 2006).

After the NDC meeting, then Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission of India, M.S. Ahluwalia and Mungekar had briefed the media and explained all the matters discussed at the NDC conclave in which even Gujarat CM Modi, and CMs of all the other states were present.

Criticising PM Modi for raking up the issue after 18 years, Mungekar also claimed it was intended to give a ‘communal’ twist to the ongoing Lok Sabha elections and create discord among communities for the BJP’s political benefit.

Addressing an election rally in Rajasthan on Sunday, PM Modi said, “If the Congress comes to power, the Muslims will have the first right on the wealth of the country and it would be shared within the community as they have more children. Are you okay with this?”

Mungekar pointed out that a person of Manmohan Singh’s stature would never make such a statement, adding that it does not behove a person holding the PM’s chair (PM Modi) to make such utterances for his party’s political interests.

Mungekar also said that although the Uniform Civil Code has been on the BJP’s agenda for decades, “why did it fail to make a UCC that is acceptable to all, and even on this count they are spreading confusion among the masses”.

“But the people of the country will not fall for such things anymore,” he said.

The Congress leader also claimed that the first phase of Lok Sabha polls held on April 19 caused huge disappointment to the BJP, which has now realised that it cannot achieve the ‘400-plus’ target and that is why the party is trying to create discord among the communities with baseless claims.


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