New Delhi, Feb 8: Rajya Sabha member and former Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Narhari Amin on Thursday refuted Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's claim that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was not born into the Other Backward Class (OBC) community.
It may be recalled that Rahul Gandhi claimed that Modi had himself added his caste to the OBC category when he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat, an allegation which Amin termed as baseless and unfounded.
"I was serving as the Deputy Chief Minister of Gujarat in the Congress government when the government of Gujarat notified Modh-Ghanchi as OBC on July 25, 1994. This is the same caste our respected Prime Minister Narendra Modi belongs to.
"Rahul Gandhi is insulting the OBC communities by cooking up mindless lies on this issue. This decision, and the subsequent Government of India notification, came when Narendra Modi was not even an MP or an MLA, forget being the Chief Minister," Amin said.
Rahul Gandhi, during his Odisha leg of the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, had accused the Prime Minister of ‘misleading’ the nation by identifying himself as an OBC member. He said that Modi’s Ghanchi caste was included in the OBC list after the BJP government came to power in Gujarat.
OBC status first came into effect in India in 1992 after the Supreme Court in the Indira Sawhney judgement upheld the government 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, Amin said.
He added, "I demand Rahul Gandhi to immediately withdraw his statement. He should stop defaming the OBCs and also apologise to the people of Gujarat for being filled with hatred towards our Prime Minister."
Amin also shared the official gazette notification to refute Rahul Gandhi's claims on Modi’s OBC status.
Rubbishing the 'blatant lies' of the Congress leader, the BJP said that official records show that the notification, released in 1999, listed Narendra Modi’s caste as OBC. This came about two years before Modi assumed the post of Gujarat Chief Minister.
The government document clearly establishes the truth and goes to debunk the 'brazen lies' of Rahul Gandhi, the BJP added. The party also stepped up the attack on Rahul Gandhi and accused him of spreading fake propaganda to deceive the public.