New Delhi, February 10: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday said it is very unfortunate that there is a debate on the caste of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and alleged that Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has a habit of telling lies publicly and repeating those thereafter. Shah also said it was a Congress government in Gujarat that included Modi's caste in the list of Other Backward Classes (OBC) in 1994 and the Centre included the prime minister's caste in its OBC list in 2000.
"Modi's caste was listed in Gujarat as OBC on July 25, 1994. At that time, the chief minister of Gujarat was Chhabildas Mehta and the party in power was the Congress. Till that time, Modi had not contested a single election. He used to work for the organisation only. The question of his caste did not come at all. "Subsequently, the Gujarat government recommended for the inclusion of his caste in the central OBC list. It was finally included in the central OBC list in 2000. At that time also, Modi was not in a position of power -- not an MP, not an MLA nor even a sarpanch. He became the chief minister in 2001. These people have a habit of distorting facts," Shah said at the ET NOW Global Business Summit 2024 here. ‘OBC is a Bloc, Not Caste’: Home Minister Amit Shah Slams Rahul Gandhi Over His Comments on PM Narendra Modi’s OBC Status (Watch Video)
He said Gandhi has a habit of telling lies and repeating those thereafter. "As far as Modi's caste is concerned, it is very unfortunate that there is a debate on the caste of a great leader like Narendra Modi. Rahul Gandhi does not know the difference between a caste and a block," he said. The home minister said Modi had said he is an OBC and added that OBC is a block and not a caste. Gandhi was probably not taught this by his teachers, he said.
"As far as the caste is concerned, I want to tell the nation that when a question has been raised on the caste of a great leader like Modi, whom the whole world has accepted as a leader, we will have to give the reply. This is democracy," Shah said. Since the Congress has raised the question, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader said he wants to ask the opposition party what has it done for the OBC. "The Kaka Kalelkar report was lying for years. They did not do anything. After that, the Mandal Commission report came. They did not do anything for years. Till the Congress lost power, the Mandal Commission report was not implemented," he said. CAA To Be Implemented Before Lok Sabha Elections: Amit Shah Says Citizenship Amendment Act To Be Notified Before General Polls (Watch Video)
The home minister said the constitutional recognition to the OBC was given by Modi and it was Modi who constituted the OBC Commission. "It was Modi who brought reservations for the OBC in all central examinations. The Congress has always been an anti-OBC party," he said.