Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 17 addressed a public meeting at Barabanki, Uttar Pradesh, ahead of the Lok Sabha constituency going to the polls in the fifth phase on May 20. In the speech, Prime Minister Modi presented a consolidated version of several of the controversial claims he had made in his earlier campaign speeches.

In the Barabanki speech, the Prime Minister, in violation of the Model Code of Conduct, openly talked about the Ayodhya Ram Temple and portrayed the Opposition parties (Samajwadi Party and Congress) as anti-Hindu. This has been a recurrent motif in campaign speeches by the Prime Minister and other BJP leaders. PM Modi also claimed that if elected to power, Congress would overturn the Supreme Court verdict on Ram Mandir. This is a claim he had earlier made in Dhar, Madhya Pradesh. Further, the PM repeated the claim that reservations of the SC/ST/OBCs would all be given to the Muslim community and so would be the wealth of the non-Muslims. Alt News has previously fact-checked these misleading and false claims made by the PM and BJP leaders. He also used the phrase ‘vote jihad’ and possibly for the first time in his recent election speeches, praised UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath’s administering of bulldozer justice.

Excerpts from Modi’s speech at Barabanki

23:23: “The ones who are voting for the first time, the youth, they might not even know… After a wait of 500 years, this is a huge event in history, that generations after generations our ancestors kept struggling and sacrificing… After 500 years… Remember the days when people would see our Ram Lalla in the tent, their tears wouldn’t stop and citizens would abuse the government in the worst possible way. But now, the wait of 500 years is over or not? (crowd shouts yes), Ram Lalla was enshrined in the grand temple or not? (crowd shouts yes), Who made this happen? (crowd shouts ‘you’ referring to PM Modi). Stop saying Modi Modi, it happened because of your one vote. This is the strength of your one vote which has established a strong government and ended your 500-year long wait. Your vote can end a 500-year-long wait. This is why in the future as well, you need to press the ‘Lotus’ button and form a strong government”.

26:08: “On the other hand, these Congress people, the SP people, what are they saying? First, they kept Ram Lalla in the tent, then to make their ‘vote bank’ happy they said that instead of the temple they would build some Dharamshala, school or hospital and now that the temple has been built… they have so much poison in their stomach, don’t know what enmity they have with Ram, they declined the invitation to Ram Lalla’s consecration ceremony.”

27:14: “Here, SP leaders say that the Ram Temple is useless, they say this even on the occasion of Ram Navami. They make offensive comments. And Congress is preparing to overturn the Supreme Court verdict on Ram Temple. A Congress leader himself has said that they want to overturn the court’s decision. Some might question ‘How can this happen?’. Don’t be mistaken, when the country was going through its freedom struggle and the country’s partition was being suggested, every citizen disagreed with it but it did happen, didn’t it? They made it happen. They can go to any extent, they don’t care about the country. They only care about family and power. This is their strategy.”

28:44:If SP or Congress come to power, they will send Ram Lalla back to the tent and will run a bulldozer on the temple. Is this what you want to learn from Yogi ji? Take tuitions from Yogi ji where to use the bulldozer and where not to. I am not saying these things for electoral gains, I am worried because this is their track record. This is their conspiracy. Can you vote for someone like that? Not only should you not vote for them, they should be punished so severely that they don’t receive bail.”

30:11: “For SP and Congress, nothing is bigger than their ‘vote bank’, and when I expose them they abuse me. Baba Saheb Ambedkar vehemently opposed reservations based on religion. The committee which formed the Constitution decided that there would be no reservation based on religion after careful consideration. Even their great-grandfather (referring to former PM Jawaharlal Nehru) opposed reservations based on religion. But, ten years ago, here in UP they tried to provide reservations based on religion and in Karnataka, they already did it. They have turned Karnataka into their laboratory. In Karnataka, they declared all Muslims as OBC. They have robbed a huge percentage of the reservations which were originally for the OBC. Would you agree with someone taking away your reservations? Would you let them rob your reservations? Would you let them take away the rights of the OBC, SC, ST? (crowds shouts no). What Baba Saheb Ambedkar has given, no one can dare to touch it.”

32:47: (Referring to former Bihar CM Lalu Prasad Yadav) PM Modi said, “The champion of fodder scam from Bihar, who is currently out of jail on the pretext of ill health, has said that the entire reservation should be given to the Muslims. Hence, Dalits, tribals, and OBCs will be left with nothing. I ask you for ‘400 paar’ (more than 400 seats) to protect you and your rights.”

33:41: “Congress prince (referring to Rahul Gandhi) says that they will do an x-ray of your earnings. This means that they will check what is in your locker, how much land, jewellery, gold, silver you own, where your mangalsutra is, they want to run a ‘loot’! They are saying that they away will take what you have and give it to those who don’t have it. It will be given away to those who will do ‘vote jihad’ (alluding to the controversial remarks by Samajwadi Party leader Maria Alam Khan). This is their track record. SP and Congress have surrendered to appeasement. And when Modi exposes their truth to the country, if you expose their dishonesty, communal nature, their ‘vote bank’ politics and their regular Hindu-Muslim rhetorics then they will say that Modi is always engaging in Hindu-Muslim comments. Modi has to say it to expose the history of your sins to the country.”

35:31″: “They are (referring to Opposition) against the Constitution. They are against the Dalits and backward classes. Modi abrogated Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir which brought it under the Constitution of India. The Dalit community there received their rights. Just a few days ago, people started getting their citizenship certificates due to the CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act). They’re happily taking pictures with the certificates. Such poor people were overlooked in the country, the ones who are gaining from this (CAA) majority of them are my Dalit and backward class brothers and sisters. The SP and Congress oppose this as well. The injustice that the SP has subjected upon the Dalit community in UP is hidden from no one.”

38:07:Do you remember what used to happen during the Samajwadi Party’s regime? Back then, even electricity was reserved for those who would practice ‘vote jihad’ and was not given to others. Today, I want to say one more thing, the ‘vote bank’ that they (The Opposition) are after, their ‘vote bank’ has also started to realise their (The Opposition’s) reality. Women are happy about the Triple Talaq law and are gracing the BJP with their blessings. Now, after Ram kaaj (serving Lord Ram) it is time for Rashtra kaaj (serving the nation).”

The readers should note that the false claim that the erstwhile Samajwadi Party government in Uttar Pradesh had given preference to the Muslim community in the supply of electricity has been doing the rounds for several years. Alt News had fact-checked the claim made by Prime Minister Modi in 2017.

40:10: “Since 2014 I have been involved in ‘Swachhata Abhiyan’, I have been involved in making the country clean. The country should be clean or not? (crowd shouts yes). And our Yogi ji is also cleaning, that cleaning should also happen, right? Can you sleep when it stinks of bad smell? So, you have to remove the bad smell and Yogi ji has been doing that job very well. And because of this cleaning, investment opportunities have increased in Uttar Pradesh. People are ready to trust and invest in businesses here. Wherever there is any sign of Ram, those areas will be made ‘Viksit’ (advanced) under the Ramayana-circuit.”

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