Rahul Gandhi questions Modi’s OBC identity. When and who gave the caste an OBC status?

Congress MP Rahul Gandhi claimed that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not belong to the Other Backward Class (OBC) family. He also stated, “Modi was born in a General Category, ‘Teli’ community. It was only when the BJP was in power that this community was included in the list of Other Backward Classes. Modi is lying to the people that he belongs to the OBC category.” Following this, BJP members took to social media platforms to deny Rahul Gandhi’s statement.

In the Parliament, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called himself the ‘biggest OBC leader’ on February 5.  Meanwhile, Rahul Gandhi, who is leading the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, said the above statements when in Odisha. In addition to it, he claimed that the BJP government included ‘Teli’ community in OBC category in 2000. He further mentioned, “Modi was not born OBC. So, he will never conduct a caste-wise census.”

Narhari Amin, Member of Rajya Sabha, BJP party demanded Rahul Gandhi withdraw his lies and asked him to apologise to the people of Gujarat for his hate towards PM Modi. It is to be noted that he was a key leader of the Gujarat Congress earlier and served as the Deputy Chief Minister of Gujarat in the Congress government. He posted that the Government of Gujarat notified Modh-Ghanchi (which PM Modi belongs to) as OBC on 25, July 1994 when he was serving as the Deputy Chief Minister of Gujarat. This decision and the GoI notification came when Modi was not even MP/MLA, he further added.

Indian Express reported, “On July 25, 1994, Gujarat government led by Congress’s Chief Minister Chhabildas Mehta had issued a resolution while adding the Ghanchi community among the list of Socially and Economically Backward Classes (SEBCs).”

In 1997, the National Commission for Backward Classes took action to include 16 sub-castes of Teli and Modh Ghanchi communities in the Central List of Backward Classes. The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment included Teli and Modh Ghanchi castes to the Central list of Backward Classes in October 1999 after the Vajpayee-led BJP government came to power.

This controversy that Modi does not belong to the OBC community is not new but emerged even before the 2014 parliamentary elections. Even then, BJP members said that Modi’s Teli community belongs to the OBC category.

In 1994, the Congress-led Gujarat state government gave Teli and Modh Ghanchi castes the OBC status. Later, in 1999, the Vajpayee-led Central Government included Teli and Modh Ghanchi to the list of Other Backward Classes on the recommendation of the National Commission for Backward Classes. This clears the air that both the parties, Congress and BJP have a stake in this matter.


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NCBC – 1997

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