Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati has accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of including his caste in the list of Other Backward Class (OBC) communities for political gains.
" In this election PM Modi tried his best to get votes in the name of backward classes. PM always belonged to upper caste but during his tenure in Gujarat he included his community in the OBC category for political gains," the BSP chief said while addressing a press conference in Lucknow.
Mayawati, BSP: In this election PM Modi tried his best to get votes in the name of backward classes. PM always belonged to upper caste but during his tenure in Gujarat he included his community in the OBC category for political gains. pic.twitter.com/Nscp9otNNVâ€” ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) April 27, 2019
"Today, at Kannauj, he (Modi) said Behenji and Akhilesh think of him as a lowly (neech) person as he hails from a backward caste. Their (BJP's) scheduled caste-backward card is not working anymore," she said and added that the prime minister has done this to kill the rights of the backward castes.
Terming prime ministerâ€™s allegation as â€˜mischievousâ€™, Mayawati said she never considered the Modi a lowly person and always treated him with all due respect as a member of an upper caste. "Then, how does the issue of calling him 'neech' arise? This makes me feel that he considers the upper-caste society as lowly," she said.
The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief alleged that PM Modi and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) considered the scheduled casteÂ as lowly.
Her remarks come hours after the prime minister, while addressing a rally in Uttar Pradesh's Kannauj, said that â€˜I am the most backwardâ€™.
"Mayawatiji, I am 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.
PM Modi also slammed the SP-BSP-RLD grand alliance in Uttar Pradesh for the ongoing Lok Sabha polls, saying the tie-up of "opportunists" wanted a helpless government at the Centre as its mantra was "jaat-paat japna, janta ka maal apna" (looting public money by playing caste cards).