'Never said Hindu or Muslim; talked about poor families': PM Modi clarifies

The PM was talking about his 'those with more children' remark

Modi-rally-lok-sabha-polls-reuters Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that his "those with more children" remark was aimed at "every poor family" and not at Muslims. The Prime Minister added that the day he starts "doing Hindu-Muslim, he will be unworthy of public life." 

He cleared the air about his statement in an interview with News 18. Adding that he does not market love towards Muslims, Modi said: "I do not work for a vote bank. I believe in Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas." 

"I am shocked. Who told you that whenever one talks of people with more children, the inference is they are Muslims? Why are you so unjust towards Muslims? This is the situation in poor families too. Where there is poverty, there are more children, irrespective of their social circle. I didn't mention either Hindu or Muslim. I have said that one should have as many children as you can take care of. Don't let a situation arise where the government has to take care of your children," the Prime Minister said on Tuesday.

Modi said he was targetted by his opponent, who tarnished his name among Muslims, after the 2022 Godhra riots. "This issue is not about Muslims. Irrespective of how supportive individual Muslims are of Modi, there is a wave of thought that dictates to them, 'do this, do that'. In my house, there are all Muslim families around me. Eid was also celebrated in our house, and there were other festivals in our house. Food was not cooked in our house on the day of Eid. Food used to come to my place from all the Muslim families. When Muharram started, we needed to come out from under the Tajiya, we were taught. I grew up in that world. Even today, many of my friends are Muslims. After 2002 (Godhra), my image was tarnished," he added. 

On whether Muslims would vote for him in this Lok Sabha election, Modi said that the people of the country would vote for me. "The day I start doing Hindu-Muslims, I won't be entitled to live in the public domain. I won't do Hindu-Muslim. This is my pledge," PM Modi said.

AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi addresses a public meeting in Hyderabad | PTI AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi

However, AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi's clarification, asking him why it took him so long to issue a "false clarification" over his 'infiltrators' and "those with more children" remarks. Owaisi also accused the Prime Minister and the BJP of spreading countless lies and "immense hatred" against Muslims in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

"In his speech, Modi had called Muslims infiltrators and those with too many children. Now he is saying that he was not talking about Muslims, he never used the Hindu-Muslim angle. Why did it take so long to give this false clarification? Modi's political journey has been based solely on anti-Muslim politics," Owaisi said in a post on X.

"In this election, Modi and the BJP have spread countless lies and immense hatred against Muslims. It's not just Modi who is in the dock, but every voter who voted for the BJP despite these speeches," Owaisi added.

Join our WhatsApp Channel to get the latest news, exclusives and videos on WhatsApp