Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu on Wednesday claimed that people who are facing hunger and poverty are being asked to do yoga and get bank accounts under the Narendra Modi-led government, ANI reported.
Addressing an election rally in Ahmedabad, the Punjab minister questioned the prime minister’s patriotism citing the Centre’s note ban, scheme to open zero-balance bank accounts and push for yoga. “Narendra Modi, is this your love for your nation that people have empty stomachs but are made to practise yoga?” Sidhu is heard saying in a video clip.
Sidhu, who is on Congress’ star campaigner list, is also seen mimicking yoga poses in the video.
“People with empty pockets are made to open bank accounts,” Sidhu said, referring to Centre’s Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana.
Sidhu also criticised the government for its decision to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes in November 2016. “The US introduced $100, England introduced £50, but you withdrew currency denominations of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 and introduced Rs 2,000 notes instead, and you talk of patriotism,” he said, according to the Hindustan Times.
The cricketer-turned-politician’s speech comes a day after the Bihar unit of the BJP approached the Election Commission against his appeal to Muslims in Katihar constituency to vote unitedly to defeat Modi. A first information report was filed against Sidhu on Tuesday for violating the Model Code of Conduct.
At the rally on Tuesday, Sidhu had said: “You [Muslims] are in a 64% majority here. I have come to warn you, that these people [BJP] are trying to divide you. By bringing in a person like [All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen chief Asaduddin] Owaisi here, by introducing a new party here, they want to win the polls. If you get united – the minority is in a majority here – and vote together, Modi will be defeated. You will hit a six. Hit such a sixer that Modi lands outside the boundary.”
The AIMIM has fielded a candidate in Kishanganj constituency of Bihar.