AICC General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi (Left), Finance Minister Arun Jaitley (Right)
A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi slammed the opposition for “dragging him into caste politics”, Priyanka Gandhi on Sunday said that the opposition and the Congress never raised questions about his caste and are only talking about issues related to development.
The Congress general secretary in-charge of Uttar Pradesh (East) said even today she didn’t know which caste PM Modi belonged to.
“Even today, I do not know his (PM Modi’s) caste. The Opposition and the Congress leaders are only raising issues related to development. We have never made any personal remarks against him,” Priyanka told reporters in Bahraich.
Addressing an election rally in Kannauj on Saturday, PM Modi said that he was the “most backward”.
“I request with folded hands not to drag me into caste politics, 130 crore people are my family? This country did not know my caste till my detractors abused me… I am thankful to Mayawatiji, Akhileshji, the Congress people and the 'mahamilavatis' that they are discussing my caste...I believe that taking birth in a backward caste is an opportunity to serve the country,” he said.
BSP chief Mayawati had on Saturday said that PM Modi included himself among the backward castes during his term as the Gujarat chief minister for political gains.
Tejashwi Yadav tweeted 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."
Criticising Modi over his stance on caste and his "origins as a chaiwala", Chidambaram asked if the PM considers people a "bunch of idiots" who have suffered memory loss.
"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!" Chidambaram tweeted.
"In 2014 and thereafter, he said repeatedly that he is proud that the people elected a chaiwala as PM. Now he says, he never mentioned his origins as a chaiwala! What does the PM take us for? A bunch of idiots who have large memory losses?" he asked.
Arun Jaitley hits back
Hitting out at the opposition, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that PM Modi has never done caste politics and is inspired by nationalism.
"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 PM 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."