Jaipur (Rajasthan) : Defending the remarks made by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is not an OBC as he was born into the general category, former Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Friday said the latter’s caste was not included in Other Backward Classes (OBC) list as per the recommendations made by Mandal Commission and Bakshi Committee.
In a post on X, Ashok Gehlot said, “Rahul Gandhi has spoken the truth on the issue of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s inclusion in OBC because Modi/Ghanchi caste was not included in OBC list in the recommendations of Mandal Commission and Bakshi Committee, which was formed in 1978 for backward classes in Gujarat. His caste was that of a business community in the entire country. People from Jain, Maheshwari, and Agarwal communities commonly use the Modi surname.”
Gehlot further said if PM Modi considers himself as the biggest supporter of the OBC community, then he shoudl have a nationwide caste census conducted at the earliest.
“If Narendra Modi considers himself an OBC and a supporter of the interests of the OBC class, then as per the demand of former Congress President Rahul Gandhi, the central government should immediately announce the holding of a nationwide caste census. As our Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge said, on the one hand caste census will make it easier for the Central and state governments to ensure social justice for the backward classes from a scientific point of view and on the other hand, there should not be any confusion around caste census creating obstacles in the progress of people of general category,” Gehlot said.
In January 1978, the Centre decided to set up a second backward classes commission, under the Chairmanship of BP Mandal. The Mandal Commission submitted its report in December 1980. The Mandal Commission identified 3,743 castes that it found to form India’s Other Backward Classes, representing 52 per cent of the country’s population. Noting that OBCs only occupied 12.5 per cent of civil service posts, it recommended 27 per cent reservation for them.
Earlier, on Thursday, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi claimed Prime Minister Narendra Modi is not an OBC as he was born into the general category.
Addressing a public rally during the Odisha leg of his ongoing ‘Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra’ here, the Wayanad MP said, “Whenever BJP workers come to you, tell them, ‘Our Prime Minister lied to the country that he belongs to the backward class. He wasn’t born into a backward class, he belongs to the general caste’. Do say this to every BJP worker.”
Responding to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s denial of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s OBC status, BJP’s Amit Malviya accused him of spreading a ‘blatant lie.’
Malviya shared an official document listing OBC categories from Gujarat dated October 27, 1999, asserting that Modi’s caste was officially recognized as OBC two years before he took over as the Chief Minister of Gujarat.
Malviya also claimed that the Nehru-Gandhi family, right from Jawaharlal Nehru to Rahul Gandhi, has consistently been opposed to OBCs.