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Jaitley rejects Opposition allegations, says Modi never did caste politics

Jaitley was responding to senior Congress leader P Chidambaram and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, who had criticised the prime minister for his statement at an election rally at Kannauj.

Press Trust of India 

Arun Jaitley
File photo of Arun Jaitley

Prime Minister Narendra Modi doesn’t do caste politics and the Opposition’s allegations against him are baseless, said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Sunday.

"How is the Prime Minister's caste relevant? He has never done caste politics. He has only done developmental politics. He is inspired by nationalism," Jaitley said on Twitter.

He said those who are deceiving the poor in the name of caste will not succeed and added that "they have only amassed wealth in the name of caste politics. The Prime Minister's assets are not even 0.01% when compared to the First Family of the BSP or the RJD."

He was responding to senior Congress leader P Chidambaram and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, who had criticised the prime minister for his statement at an election rally at Kannauj.

At the rally on Saturday, Modi had said, "Mayawatiji, I am the most backward. I request with folded hands not to drag me into caste politics, 130 crore people are my family. This country did not know my caste till my detractors abused me. I am thankful to Mayawati ji, Akhilesh ji, the Congress people and the 'mahamilavatis' that they are discussing my caste. I believe that taking birth in a backward caste is an opportunity to serve the country."

Tejashwi Yadav tweeted Sunday: "I had said on April 20 (2019) said that @narendramodi ji, after portraying himself as fake OBC, will call himself a person belonging to extremely backward caste. He did so yesterday (in Kannauj rally in UP).

"The fact is that he is an upper caste (person) by birth and backward on papers. He (PM) will say so many things just to fetch votes," said Yadav.

Criticising Modi over his stance on caste and his "origins as a chaiwala", Chidambaram asked if the PM considers people a "bunch of idiots" who have suffered memory loss.

"Mr Narendra Modi is the first person who became PM later who campaigned wearing his caste on his sleeve (2014): ''I am an OBC''. Now, he says he has no caste!" Chidambaram tweeted.

"In 2014 and thereafter, he said repeatedly that he is proud that the people elected a chaiwala as PM. Now he says, he never mentioned his origins as a chaiwala! What does the PM take us for? A bunch of idiots who have large memory losses?" he asked.

First Published: Sun, April 28 2019. 21:16 IST
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