NEW DELHI: BJP on Thursday slammed Congress leader Rahul Gandhifor raking up
PM Narendra Modi
’s caste and saying that the latter was not born as an
but became one after the BJP govt tagged his caste as such.
BJP immediately retaliated against Rahul’s remark at a public rally in Odisha by pointing out that it was a Congress govt in Gujarat which had in 1994 classified Modi’s caste, Modh Ghanchi, as OBC and that the PM had not even entered electoral politics when the Centre included it in the central OBC list. “I was serving as deputy chief minister of Gujarat in the Congress govt when the GOG (govt of Gujarat) notified Modh Ghanchi as OBC on July 25, 1994. This is the same caste our respected PM belongs to,” said Narhari Amin, who held influential positions in Congress before joining BJP. He further said the Centre, following the recommendation of the Gujarat govt, notified Modh Ghanchi as OBC on Oct 27, 1999, which was two years before Modi contested his first election. BJP shared a copy of the gazette notification about the inclusion of Modi’s caste in the central OBC list in 1999.
Rahul’s allegation that Modi was not an OBC came at a rally in Odisha as par of his Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra. “Modi ji has been misleading people by saying that he is an OBC. He was not born in the OBC category. He was born into Teli caste in Gujarat which was given OBC tag in the year 2000 by BJP,” the Congress leader said, adding that the PM would never allow caste census because he was born in a general caste.
Rahul went on to repeat his charge in Chhattisgarh, inviting a furious response from BJP functionaries and Union ministers. Education minister Dharmendra Pradhan, a prominent OBC face, said, “Like every time, another lie of Rahul Gandhi has been exposed…”
“It shows the entire Nehru-Gandhi family, starting from Jawaharlal Nehru to Rahul Gandhi, have been against OBCs,” BJP IT head Amit Malviya said.
BJP sources pointed out that OBC as a category was recognised only after implementation of Mandal Commission’s recommendation by the V P Singh govt in 1990 and gained circulation after the Supreme Court verdict in Indira Sawhney case in 1992 that upheld the govt order issued in 1990 that caste was an acceptable indicator of backwardness. Hence, it was not possible for any caste to be included in the OBC category before 1992.