BJP PRESIDENT Amit Shah, on a three-day visit to poll-bound Rajasthan, on Sunday said that the BJP is not a party of any single caste or community.
Addressing an OBC rally in Pali, Shah said that all “36 qaum” — referring to a common local usage to imply unity among castes and communities — had come to hear him.
Mentioning the party’s OBC Morcha state president Omprakash Badhana, he said, “He met me and said our party has given representation to all communities in power [governance]. When I said it can’t be, he gave me a list of all communities (which have been represented in the Rajasthan government).”
Shah then read out names of 38 communities, including Dhakhad, Dhobi, Yadav, Ghanchi, Khatri, Baghel, Banjara, Kumar, Kumawat, Mali and Sirvi among others, and said, “The BJP is not a party of a single caste or community… the BJP has never had a stamp of any single community.”
He said the Kaka Kalelkar Commission had recommended in 1955 constitution of an OBC Commission, that it be granted a constitutional status and that “all backward communities be extended constitutional dignity by the government”.
“The report came in 1955 and several Congress governments came and went. Rahul Baba, unki chaar peerhi ne shashan kiya (his four generations ruled the country) but the OBCs did not get justice,” he said, adding that they got justice only after the Narendra Modi government came to power at the Centre.
Shah elaborated how the BJP-led central and state governments carried out numerous development works, including the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana, subsidised meal scheme Annapurna Rasoi Yojana and farm debt waiver.
“I want to ask the Congress, you ruled for so many years, why didn’t you think of filling up stomach of the poor. Rahul Baba doesn’t know, he hasn’t seen poverty,” the BJP president said.
He also reiterated that all ghuspeithiye (intruders) will be expelled one by one from “Kashmir to Kanyakumari and from Assam to Rajasthan”.
“This is a border state, do intruders intrude [here] or not? Should we expel them or not? But Congress says that they be allowed to live in India. So if Rahul Baba comes to Pali will you ask [him]? Will you ask him why he sides with the intruders?” he said.
However, he implied that an exception is to be made if the migrants are Hindus or Sikhs.
“A lot of people come from Pakistan to Rajasthan… mistreated Hindus run away from Pakistan, should they be granted asylum or not?” he said. “All Hindu and Sikh brothers who have escaped from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, the Narendra Modi government will give them citizenship,” he added.
He said the “Congress is opposing Modiji for expelling intruders” but “they take away jobs, grain, and security.”
Shah said farmers had been seeking a minimum support price of one a half times the cost of production. “For 70 years, the farmers had been demanding, but Congress leaders did not care,” he said.
In a slip-up, Shah mentioned Rajesh Pilot, instead of Sachin Pilot, the state Congress chief. “I want to ask Rajesh Pilot and his leader Rahul Baba, you ruled for so many years but why farmers could not get one and a half times their cost [of production]…,” he said.
A former Union minister and Lok Sabha MP from Rajasthan, Rajesh Pilot died in a road accident in Jaipur in 2000.
BJP state president Madan Lal Saini told The Indian Express, “He must have meant it about younger Pilot [Sachin]; everyone knows about Rajeshji, it is the nation’s misfortune that he is not with us.”