Rahul Gandhi says people being fooled about Modi’s caste; BJP hits back | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Rahul Gandhi says people being fooled about Modi’s caste; BJP hits back

ByDebabrata Mohanty,
Feb 08, 2024 04:42 PM IST

Rahul Gandhi accuses Prime Minister Narendra Modi of falsely claiming to be from an Other Backward Class (OBC) family, says only Congress will conduct a caste-based census.

Member of Parliament Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said people were being fooled about the Prime Minister’s caste and that Narendra Modi, who took on the Congress in Parliament a day earlier for being unfair to marginalised communities, was not born into an Other Backward Class (OBC) family.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi during the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra on Thursday. (PTI)
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi during the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra on Thursday. (PTI)

“He [Modi] says he was born an OBC...Modi was not born into OBC. You are being fooled,” Gandhi said on the second day of his Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra in Odisha. He added Modi’s community was included in the OBC category when the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was in power in 2000. “Your Prime Minister was not born into OBC. He was born into a general caste.”

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Gandhi said he did not need a birth certificate to say that. “The biggest indicator is he never hugs any OBC person. He does not hold the hands of any labourer. He only holds Adani’s hand. Modi will never conduct a caste census because he was not born into OBC. Only the Congress will do a caste-based census.”

Gandhi has repeatedly demanded a nationwide caste census to understand India’s demographics for an equitable distribution of power and wealth. In the run-up to the polls in states such as Madhya Pradesh, Congress promised a caste census if the party was voted back to power while blaming the ruling BJP for ignoring marginalised castes.

On Wednesday, Modi cited a letter of Jawaharlal Nehru to chief ministers, saying it clearly showed that the first Prime Minister opposed reservation of any kind and believed that it adversely affected the government’s functioning.

He said the Congress never gave complete reservation to OBC, the country’s largest voting bloc. Modi has sought to negate the focus on caste. In December, he called the poor, women, the youth, and the farmer four biggest castes. in her budget speech this month, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman referred to this as well.

Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan hit back in a post on X, saying either Gandhi is really ignorant or he feels telling lies repeatedly makes them accepted as truth.

BJP leader Surath Biswal, an OBC, said Gandhi’s statement showed his immaturity. “Modi belongs to the OBC. Congress has to answer why the Gandhi family put the recommendations of Kaka Kalelkar and Mandal Commission [for OBC reservation] in cold storage,” he said.

K G Vanzara, a retired social justice and empowerment department official in Gujarat, said neither the BJP nor Modi was in power at the Centre when the Prime Minister’s Ghanchi community was included on the OBC list in 1994. “Modi was not the chief minister when the central government issued the notification regarding the community’s inclusion.” He said Modi took office as the Gujarat chief minister seven years later in October 2001.

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