The Congress on Thursday called Narendra Modi a “fake OBC”. It said the Modi government had included the Modh Ghanchis, the caste to which he belongs, in the OBC list three months after he became chief minister and argued that he was born into a prosperous upper caste.
The Congress released a circular issued by the Gujarat government dated January 1, 2002, regarding inclusion of several castes including the Modh Ghanchis in the OBC list. “He was born and raised in a rich and prosperous upper caste. Modh Ghanchis are a sub-caste of Vaishyas.
In fact, according to the the Gujarati lexicon Bhagvadgomandal, Modh is an adjective showing prosperity status of a particular caste or community. There are Modh Brahmins and Modh Banias. Gandhiji was a Modh Vanik,” Congress spokesperson Shaktisinh Gohil said. Modi became Gujarat CM in October 2001. Gohil said the Modi government included his caste in the OBC list for “selfish motives”.
Asked what is wrong in a government including a particular caste in the OBC list since the UPA government too recently included the Jat community, Gohil said Jats had been demanding that for long but there had been no such demand from the Modh Ghanchis.
“By including Modh Ghanchis, he has encroached upon the rights of other OBCs. Modi has been asking whether it is a sin to be born into a lower caste. It is not a crime or sin to be born into any caste or community, but it definitely is a crime to put an upper caste in the OBC category for selfish reasons and then cry discrimination. He has committed a sin and he should apolgise to the country. Like the fake encounters that has happened in Gujarat, he is a fake OBC,” he said.
Accusing Modi of “subtle manipulation”, Gohil said Ghanchis who were Muslims were OBCs but not prosperous, while Modh Ghanchis were neither given any reservation nor included as an OBC by any commission until Modi became CM.
The BJP rejected the charge and asked the Congress to debate issues of political importance. “It shows how bankrupt Congress has become that they have to stoop to this level,” former BJP president Venkaiah Naidu told reporters.
Gohil also alleged that Modi had never been a tea vendor but had only whiled away time at a canteen run by one of his relatives on contract.