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Paswan defends PM, says opposition's caste jibe on Modi sign of desperation


Press Trust of India New Delhi
Defending Narendra Modi's "backward" caste credentials, Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan on Monday lashed out at opposition parties for their attacks on the Prime Minister over his caste.
Earlier this month, Leader of Opposition in Bihar Assembly Tejashwi Yadav rebuffed Modi's assertion of belonging to an "ati pichhada" (most backward) caste and called him a "fake OBC".
BSP chief Mayawati has also alleged that Modi included his caste in the backward category during his tenure as Gujarat chief minister to derive electoral profit.
For the Congress, its general secretary Priyanka Gandhi had said that while her party did not indulge in caste politics, she didn't know as to which caste prime minister belongs to.
"Who is backward from his birth? Does an infant born out a mother's womb has a caste? The caste is a reality, but backward and forward is a constitutional construct. Now Paswan in Bihar is a scheduled caste but not so in Delhi. Or Yadavs, they maybe backward...Why are they screaming?" the Dalit leader told reporters.
"These comments are a sign of desperation and clearly shows they have already lost the election."

Addressing a public meeting in Uttar Pradesh Saturday, the prime minister aggressively pitched his backward caste identity, declaring that he was not just an OBC, but was "born" into the "most backward caste".
The Lok Janshakti Party chief also said that the election results on May 23 will clear all doubts of the opposition parties and by May 26 Modi will again be sworn in as the PM.
Paswan also took a dig at Priyanka Gandhi and said that she had "backed out" from the fight against Modi in Varanasi.
"In the face of a defeat, she backed out," he alleged.
Paswan also said that individual candidate is not important in this election as people across the country are voting for Modi.
"There is one united view in this country that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should be brought back. Candidates are not important in this election," he said.

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First Published: Apr 29 2019 | 8:15 PM IST

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