Gandhinagar: Gujarat BJP MLA Purnesh Modi on Thursday accused Congress leader Rahul Gandhi of misleading people over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s caste, saying the Teli community, to which the PM belongs, was awarded the OBC status when Gujarat had a Congress government.
The lawmaker said Gandhi has once again started spreading lies and resorted to politics of appeasement.
It was Purnesh Modi who had filed a criminal defamation case against Gandhi for saying “How come all thieves have Modi as the common surname?”. Gandhi was convicted by a Surat court and sentenced to two years' imprisonment, resulting in his disqualification as an MP briefly.
Later, Gandhi got relief from the Supreme Court, which stayed his conviction.
“When the entire country stands united under the leadership of PM Modi, Rahul Gandhi has once again started spreading lies and resorted to vote bank politics and appeasement... Against such politics, PM Modi has given the mantra of uplifting ‘Garib’, ‘Yuva’, ‘Mahila’ and ‘Kisan’ (the poor, youth, women and farmers),” the BJP MLA told reporters here.
This vision presented by the PM for ‘Viksit Bharat’ (developed India) has rattled Gandhi, claimed the legislator.
“Earlier, he had insulted OBCs as well as the Modi community by saying all Modis were thieves. Once again, he is insulting people from OBC communities. He recently claimed that the Teli (ghanchi) community was given the status of OBC in 2000 when Modi was the chief minister of Gujarat,” said the BJP leader.
Purnesh Modi was referring to Gandhi’s remarks earlier in the day that PM Modi was not born in an OBC (Other Backward Caste) family, and that he was “misleading” people by identifying himself as an OBC.
PM Modi was born in a family that belonged to the general caste, Gandhi claimed in Odisha and Chhattisgarh during his ongoing ‘Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra’.
“Modi ji has been misleading the people by saying that he is an OBC. He was born in a family of the Teli caste, which was included in the OBC list during the BJP government's tenure in Gujarat in 2000. Therefore, Modi ji is not an OBC by birth,” the Congress MP had asserted.
Purnesh Modi, who represents the Surat-West seat, countered Gandhi’s claims, saying the decision to add Telis or ‘ghanchis’ to the state OBC list was taken in 1994 when Congress was in power in Gujarat.
“The reality is that PM Modi was not the chief minister of Gujarat in 2000 when BJP was in power here. Moreover, the Teli community was included as OBC in July 1994, when Congress was in power and Chhabildas Mehta was the chief minister. Mehta had issued a notification for the inclusion of Telis as OBCs,” Modi told reporters here.
Indians are welcomed wherever they go in the world and at such a time, but the Congress has once again started its politics by dividing people over caste and faith, MLA Modi said.
“Rahul Gandhi is misleading people by spreading lies out of frustration because he has realised that Congress will face a huge defeat in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls,” he asserted.