New Delhi [India]: On a day when the BJP bristled at a statement by Rahul Gandhi, claiming that Prime Minister Narendra Modi wasn't born an OBC, Congress national president Mallikarjun Kharge on Thursday said crores of people across the country were still struggling to be included in the Other Backward Classes category.
Taking to his official handle on social media platform X, the Congress national president also took a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his alleged opposition to a nationwide caste census, claiming that it would deprive many from the backward classes of being enlisted as OBCs.
He claimed further that PM Modi's 'silence' on a nationwide caste census, which the Congress claimed earlier will be conducted if it were to be elected in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, threatens to deprive crores of fellow natives of 'social justice'.
"Nowadays Modi ji is teaching the lesson of social justice to the entire country. His caste got OBC status. He has also started calling himself the "biggest OBC". Modi ji got the status of OBC category without protesting on the streets, but crores of people in the country are continuously struggling to get themselves included in the OBC list," the Congress national president posted from his X handle on Thursday.
"There are many such backward castes in the country who will not be able to get OBC status due to Modi ji's opposition to the caste census," the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha added.
Reiterating his party's position on the subject, Kharge vowed to have a caste census conducted across the country if the Congress comes to power at centre.
"Lakhs of people in Maharashtra, Haryana and Gujarat have taken to the streets for many years to get OBC status for their caste. Modi ji has become the Vishwa Guru among OBC! But they are not telling when the Caste Census will be held? The caste census is most important to implementing social justice. The Congress Party has promised that we will definitely get the caste census done," Kharge added in his post.
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."
Addressing the Parliament earlier, during the ongoing 'Budget Session', Prime Minister Modi called himself 'sabse bada OBC' (the biggest OBC) while accusing the Congress of indulging in hypocrisy and adopting double standards while dealing with leaders from backward communities.
"Congress party and UPA government did not deliver justice to the OBCs. A few days ago, Karpoori Thakur ji was conferred with Bharat Ratna. In 1970, when he became Bihar CM, what was not done to destabilise his government?
Congress can't tolerate OBCs. They keep counting how many OBCs are there in government. Can't you (Congress) see the biggest OBC here (pointing towards himself)?"
PM Modi said in his reply to the 'Motion of Thanks' on the President's Address in Lok Sabha on Monday.
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.