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New Delhi,  Apr 28 : New Delhi, April 28: The Opposition leaders on Sunday hit back at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for raking up his caste during an election rally in Uttar Pradesh. Returning the Opposition fire, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Sunday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has never done caste politics and is inspired by nationalism.

Leader of Opposition in Bihar Assembly Tejashwi Yadav on Sunday rebuffed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s assertion of belonging to an “ati-pichhda” (most backward) caste, insisting that he saw this coming from the PM a week ago.

Addressing a public meeting in Uttar Pradesh Saturday, the prime minister aggressively pitched his backward caste identity, declaring that he was not just an OBC, but was “born” into the “most-backward caste”.

Yadav, in a tweet, said Sunday, “I had said on April 20 (2019) said that @narendramodi ji, after portraying himself as fake OBC, will call himself a person belonging to extremely backward caste. He did so yesterday (in Kannauj rally in UP).

“The fact is that he is an upper caste (person) by birth and backward on papers. He (PM) will say so many things just to fetch votes.”

Notably, the former Bihar deputy chief minister had said on April 20 that Modi would call himself a son of extremely backward caste parents, hours before the prime minister held a rally in the Araria Lok Sabha constituency.

“PM @narendramodi ji is coming to Bihar today. He would portray himself as the son of extremely backward caste.

Addressing a public meeting in Kannauj on Saturday, the Prime Minister had drawn focus on his backward caste identity. “Behenji (Mayawati) is distributing my caste certificate. And now that she has started it, I must tell you that I come from the most backward caste in Gujarat.

“I was not aware of my caste till Behenji, Akhilesh Yadav and the Congress began mentioning it. I am grateful to them, though I am not into caste politics. I ask them not to drag me into caste politics,” Modi had said.

At a press conference in Lucknow on Saturday, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati had said: “He (Modi) was an upper caste when he was Gujarat Chief Minister. Later he got his caste included in the OBC (other backward class) category.”

Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi on Sunday said that she did not have any knowledge about the Prime Minister’s caste, and that the opposition never focused on it as an issue.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZI8r0HHmIKs?wmode=opaque]
“I am still not aware of the caste that Modi belongs to. And the opposition and the Congress have never raised the issue of his caste,” she told the media in Busiyave village in Amethi.

Meanwhile, senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram tweeted: “Mr Narendra Modi is the first person who became PM later who campaigned wearing his caste on his sleeve (2014): ‘I am an OBC.’ Now, he says he has no caste!”

BJP was quick to respond. “How is the Prime Minister’s caste relevant? He has never done caste politics. He has only done developmental politics. He is inspired by nationalism,” Jaitley said joining the war of words on Twitter over Modi coming from the “most backward caste”.

He further said those who are deceiving the poor in the name of caste will not succeed and added that “they have only amassed wealth in the name of caste politics. The Prime Minister’s assets are not even 0.01% when compared to the First Family of the BSP or the RJD.”

News24 Bureau/ Agencies

Photo: Google

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