Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses a public meeting, ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, in Gaya, Bihar, Tuesday, April 16, 2024.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses a public meeting, ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, in Gaya, Bihar, Tuesday, April 16, 2024.Photo | PTI

PM Modi claims 90 percent of Constituent Assembly members were 'Sanatanis' in Bihar poll rally

Modi dismissed accusations from the opposition, which has charged that the BJP is aiming to alter India's Constitution for political gain.

PATNA: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday refuted the opposition’s allegation that the BJP was trying to change India's Constitution and reiterated that even Baba Saheb BR Ambedkar, who had drafted the Constitution, cannot alter it.

PM Modi’s reactions came a day after Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief and former Union minister Lalu Prasad alleged that the BJP was planning to change the Constitution. The RJD chief had remarked that Dalits, poor and backwards would not forgive the BJP and PM Modi if it happened.

Addressing an election rally in Bihar’s Gaya, PM Modi took a jibe at Lalu and other opposition leaders by contending that they were using the Constitution as a political weapon and spreading lies that the BJP would change the Constitution if voted to power for the third consecutive term.

"Those who want to use the Constitution as political power and spread distorted narratives for the last three decades with an intention to intimidate and scare people like the country will burn and will not survive if the BJP and RSS come to power," the prime minister claimed, adding: "...even Dr BR Ambedkar, who had drafted the Constitution, cannot change the Constitution of India. Stop spreading lies. Those insulting the Constitution do not have the right to remain in public life."

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses a public meeting, ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, in Gaya, Bihar, Tuesday, April 16, 2024.
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Modi further said, “When I brought the proposal to Parliament to observe the Sambhidhan Diwas, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge opposed it by arguing what the need for it was when we celebrated Republic Day. Kharge could not understand that we should constantly keep generating 'shraddha' and creating 'sanskar' towards the Constitution."

Modi highlighted that Dr Rajendra Prasad had led the Constituent Assembly, with Dr BR Ambedkar chairing the drafting committee, supported by Sanatanis. He emphasised the inclusion of numerous eminent figures in the assembly who diligently worked to shape the constitution, considering the sentiments of the people. “In the Constituent Assembly, more than 80–90 percent of the members were Sanatanis as they extended their support to Ambedkar to draft such a great Constitution of India," he remarked.

Meanwhile, Modi claimed that global instability necessitated a strong government capable of making bold decisions. He also appealed to the people to make the BJP candidate from Aurangabad Sushil Kumar Singh and NDA ally Jitan Ram Manjhi victorious in the election.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had last month alleged that the "ultimate goal of Narendra Modi and the BJP is to destroy Babasaheb's Constitution" after BJP MP Anantkumar Hegde's statement that the party needs a two-thirds majority to amend the Constitution.

On Monday, RJD chief Lalu accused the BJP and PM Modi of trying to change the Constitution of India. Lalu had alleged that the people of the country, especially Dalits, OBCs and EBCs, would not forgive the BJP and PM Modi if the Constitution was changed for political gains.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses a public meeting, ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, in Gaya, Bihar, Tuesday, April 16, 2024.
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses a public meeting, ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, in Gaya, Bihar, Tuesday, April 16, 2024.
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