In a heated exchange, the government responded to Rahul Gandhi’s accusations regarding Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s caste identity. Gandhi, on his ‘Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra’ in Odisha, alleged that PM Modi misrepresented himself as belonging to an Other Backward Class (OBC) community.
However, the government swiftly countered, stating that the Modh Ghanchi caste, to which PM Modi belongs, is indeed included in the OBC list in Gujarat. The notification for this inclusion was issued during the Congress rule in the state, emphasizing that PM Modi was not in power at that time.
The government also highlighted that the decision to include the sub-group in the OBC list at the national level was made when PM Modi was not holding any executive office.
This clash over caste identity arises amidst the ongoing debate over a national caste census, with the BJP historically opposing it. Rahul Gandhi has vowed to conduct a nationwide caste census and remove the 50% reservation cap if Congress comes to power in the upcoming Lok Sabha election.
The tension escalated as PM Modi countered Gandhi’s claims, citing historical reservations issues within the Congress party. He reaffirmed his government’s commitment to the welfare of Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST), and OBC communities, contrasting it with the Congress’s alleged neglect of these groups.
The exchange underscores the deep-rooted political divisions and ideological differences surrounding caste politics in India, as both parties strive to win over crucial voting blocs ahead of the elections.