Launching a personal attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati said on Saturday that Modi originally did not belong to backward caste. She alleged that when Narendra Modi was chief minister of Gujarat, he had added his caste to the list of Other Backward Class (OBC). Mayawati said that in order to derive political benefits during elections, Modi got his upper caste included in the list of OBCs.
Narendra Modi belongs to the Modh Ghanchi caste, which is listed as an OBC by the Gujarat government. And a perusal of the records shows that Mayawati clearly lying by saying that his caste was included in the list during the term of Modi as CM of the state. Records show that the Modh Ghanchi caste was classified as OBC in July 1994, much before Modi became chief minister.
On 25th July 1994, the Department of Social Justice and Empowerment had added several castes to the list of OBCs, and Modh Ghanchi was one of them. This was done by issuing a resolution numbered SSP/1194/1411/A dated 25/07/1994. The relevant page of the resolution, which is in Gujarati, has been appended below.
The full resolution can be accessed here on the website of Social Justice and Empowerment department of Gujarat government.
It may be noted that reservations for OBCs were granted only during VP Singh government after the Mandal Commission report. Before that only SCs and STs were eligible for reservation. And the practice of including more castes under the OBC had started after the Mandal Commission report was accepted. Accordingly, respective states had identified OBC castes and included them in the list in the 1990s, and PM’s caste Modh Ghanchi was one of the castes to be listed as OBC in 1994 in Gujarat.
This is not the first time Modi’s OBC status was questioned by the opposition. In 2014 also Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil had alleged that Narendra Modi is a “fake OBC”. He had also claimed Modh Ghanchi caste was not in the OBC list before Modi became CM. At that time, the Gujarat government had issued a clarification saying that Modi’s caste was notified as OBC in 1994 itself.