By Press Trust of India: Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh on Thursday claimed that contrary to the BJP and the RSS’s “false propaganda” that the population of the Muslim community was increasing in the country, the number of the minority community members vis-a-vis Hindus was fast declining, and added that he could prove it.
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was quick to counter him as it accused him of indulging in politics of appeasement and giving false statements to divide the society.
Singh made the claim here while replying to reporters’ query about his party’s stand on conducting a census.
“The propaganda of BJP and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) that the Muslim population is increasing in the country is completely false, wrong and unverified because the minority community’s population is decreasing at a faster pace as compared to Hindus and I can prove it,” Singh said.
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“My stand on the census is that it should be conducted, and its results should come out on the basis of the Other Backward Classes (OBC). Till now, only the results of the 2011 census are available. The figures after that are not yet released by them. Census should be conducted,” the former chief minister said.
When asked whether the Congress will include in its manifesto the demand for conducting a caste-based census, Singh said there was no need for it as it was as per rules and law.
Asked further about the caste-based census in Bihar, Singh said, “Census should be held at the national level.”
Reacting to Singh’s remark on the Muslim population, state Medical Education Minister Vishvas Sarang said the Congress leader was indulging in politics of appeasement and spreading false statements to divide the society into the lines of caste and religion.
Denying the charge that Congress indulges in vote bank politics, Digvijaya Singh said that since 1952, the party has worked for the welfare of the Scheduled Caste (SC) and the Scheduled Tribe (ST) communities as well as deprived sections of the society.
The Rajya Sabha member questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s silence on sensitive matters, especially on people spreading hatred in the country through their inflammatory statements and acts, and added that the PM expresses concern even when a player suffers an injury on his finger.
Terming the Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh due by the year-end and the next year’s Lok Sabha polls as crucial for the party, Singh said that although the main contest is between the Congress and the BJP, parties like Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AlMIM), Gondwana Gantantra Party (GGP) and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) will also be in the fray to help the BJP in dividing the Congress’s votes.
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“But they won’t be able to come to power. The fight is between Congress and BJP,” he said.
Replying to a question whether the Congress got weakened after Jyotiraditya Scindia, who is currently the Union minister from the BJP, quit the party, Singh said, “After he left, there is peace and unity in Congress, while there is unrest and disunity in BJP now.”
Singh also criticised Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan for launching populist schemes like ‘Ladli Behna’, and questioned why the BJP did not remember people of the state when it was in power for the last more than 18 years and why it is doing so in the election year.
“It is the trademark of Chouhan to indulge in dramatics, making announcements and giving long speeches,” the Congress veteran said.