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Indian Prime Minister denies causing divisions between Hindus and Muslims

The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, defended himself this Tuesday (14) against criticism that he was fomenting divisions between Hindus and Muslims to win the national election, as he presented his candidacy for re-election in one of the holiest cities for India. Hinduism.

India began voting on April 19 in a seven-phase election in which Modi is trying to be the second prime minister to win a third consecutive term since independence leader Jawaharlal Nehru.

Although Modi began his campaign by flaunting his economic record, governance and popularity, he changed tack after the first phase of voting, accusing the main opposition Congress Party of being pro-Muslim.

Analysts say the strategy was likely aimed at galvanizing the base of his Bharatiya Janata Party (PBJ), after a low turnout in the first phase raised doubts that the group and its allies can achieve the landslide victory the party seeks.

“I believe the people of my country will vote for me,” Modi told the broadcaster CNN -News18 in Varanasi, his parliamentary constituency in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.

“The day I start talking about Hindu-Muslims (in politics) will be the day I lose my ability to lead a public life,” Modi said, speaking in Hindi. “I won't do that. That’s my decision.”

Modi's critics often accuse him and the PBJ of attacking the country's Muslim minority to please their extremist voters, which he and the party deny.

Although Hindus make up about 80% of India's 1.4 billion people, the country also has the third-largest Muslim population in the world, with about 200 million people.

The Congress Party has complained to the Election Commission that Modi made “deeply objectionable” comments about Muslims in an April 21 speech, violating election rules. The commission requested a response from the PBJ regarding the complaint.

In the speech, Modi accused the Congress Party of planning to conduct research on wealth concentration, confiscate properties and redistribute them, which the party denied.

He said on the occasion, “During the previous (Congress) government, they said that Muslims have the first right over the nation’s wealth. Who does this mean they will redistribute this wealth to? They will give it to those who have more children, to the infiltrators.”

This Tuesday, Modi said he did not mention any community in his speech.

“I didn’t say Hindu or Muslim. I said you should have as many children as you can support,” Modi said.

Source: CNN Brasil

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