Congress General Secretary for Uttar Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Tuesday attempted to shield the opposition for playing 'caste politics' against PM Modi. Congress leader, while in Amethi, said:
"Till date I don't know what is the caste of PM Modi. According to me, opposition never commented on his caste. In this election, Congress and opposition are only raising developmental issue. We are only thinking about people. We haven't commented any day on his caste".
Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday slammed the SP-BSP-RLD alliance in Uttar Pradesh, saying the tie-up of “opportunists” wants a helpless government because its mantra is “jaat, paat japna; janata ka maal apna”.
Addressing a rally in Uttar Pradesh's Kannauj, PM Modi had said, "This country didn't know my caste till my detractors abused me...I am thankful to Mayawatiji, Akhileshji, 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."
The Prime Minister also requested rival politicians to not drag him into caste politics. "I tell you with folded hands, I want no part in this. The 130 crore people of this country are my family," he declared.
He accused Mayawati of betraying her ideology by allying with "those opposed" to Dalit ideologue and social reformer BR Ambedkar.
This came after Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati hit at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, claiming that he included his caste in the list Other Backward Class (OBC) communities for political gains. The comments came soon after PM Modi accused the opposition of thinking of him as a neech (lowly) person.
Accusing PM Modi of including his caste in the list of backwards during his term as the Gujarat chief minister, Mayawati said at a press conference in Lucknow, "In order to derive political profits during elections, he (PM Modi) got his upper caste included in the list of backward castes. Like Mulayam Singh Yadav and Akhilesh Yadav, (PM) Modi was not born in a backward caste."
"Today, at Kannauj, he (PM Modi) said Behenji and Akhilesh (Yadav) think of him as a neech (lowly) person as he comes from a backward caste. Their (BJP's) Dalit-backward card is not working anymore," the former Uttar Pradesh chief said.