Jharsuguda (Odisha), Feb 8 (PTI) Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday thanked the BJP for “confirming” that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was not born in an Other Backward Class family, as he claimed earlier in the day.
Gandhi, while making a brief speech here on the third and concluding day of his ‘Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra’ in Odisha, said Modi was born in a family that belonged to the general caste. “Modi ji has been misleading the people by saying that he is an OBC. He was born in a family of the ‘Ghanchi’ caste, which was included in the OBC list during the BJP government's tenure in Gujarat in 2000.
“He changed his caste to OBC after becoming the CM of Gujarat. Therefore, Modi ji is not an OBC by birth,” the Congress MP asserted.
Union ministers Prahlad Joshi and Dharmendra Pradhan alleged that Gandhi has been spreading lies on this issue.
“The truth: Modi's OBC status was recognised on Oct 27, 1999, two years before he became Gujarat's Chief Minister. @INCIndia insults the OBC community yet again, but OBCs will deliver a resounding lesson in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls,” Joshi, the Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister, said in a post on X.
Soon after this, Rahul Gandhi also took to X and said: “Modi ji is not by birth but a 'paper OBC'. He was not an OBC till five decades after his birth. Thanks to the BJP government for confirming this truth of mine.” Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who hails from Odisha, also reacted to Gandhi’s statement.
“Like every time, another lie of @RahulGandhi was exposed. Either Rahul Gandhi is really ignorant or he feels that by telling lies repeatedly, lies are accepted as truth. Rahul Gandhi ji should first do justice to himself, if he will spread and sell lies like this every day, then the day is not far when he will be limited to only humour, satire and entertainment,” he said.
Odisha BJP’s general secretary Prithviraj Harichandan said that Rahul Gandhi does not understand what he says.
The former Congress president during his brief speech in Odisha also alleged that the prime minister will never conduct a caste census in the country, without which social justice cannot be achieved.
He also claimed that a majority of people are denied social justice. “Only the Congress party will conduct this caste census and ensure social justice in India,” Gandhi said.
The Congress leader said whenever he talks about social justice and a caste census, Modi mentions the existence of only two castes in the country - rich and poor.
“If there are two castes, then which one do you belong to? You are not poor; you change clothes several times during a day... and then lie about belonging to the OBC category. The PM does not shake hands with OBCs, but hugs billionaires,” Gandhi alleged.
He also claimed that a conspiracy was being hatched in the state to snatch the land of tribals.
“The only difference between the BJP and BJD (Odisha’s ruling party) is of a ‘P’ and ‘D’; the rest is all same... they are two sides of the same coin,” the Congress leader said.
Clad in a white t-shirt, Gandhi resumed the yatra on Thursday from the Old Bus Stand here and moved towards Kissan Chowk in an open jeep before going to Behpahar. He was accompanied by AICC leader Ajoy Kumar and OPCC president Sarat Pattnayak.
After covering about 200 km in Odisha, the ‘Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra’ entered neighbouring Chhattisgarh on Thursday afternoon. PTI AAM RBT AAM NN