Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday responded to the “caste” jibe taken at him by BSP supremo Mayawati a few days ago, saying that his “caste” is “poverty”.
“I have only one caste – ‘poverty’; that is why I have rebelled against poverty,” the PM said at a massive election rally in Uttar Pradesh’s Balia.
Mayawati had on 10 May said that the PM is not an “OBC by birth”.
“These ‘mahamilavatis’ are asking ‘what is Modi’s caste?’. I’ve been CM of Gujarat for a longer time than both ‘Bua-Babua’ combined. I’ve contested and helped many in contesting elections, but never used my caste for support,” the PM said, taking a jibe at both Mayawati and SP chief Akhilesh Yadav.
Before becoming Prime Minister, Modi served as the Chief Minister of Gujarat for 13-and-half years from 2001 to 2014.
Mayawati, a four-time Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, has been at the top post in the state for just around seven years, while Akhilesh Yadav served 5 years as the CM of the state till 2017.
This is the second time the PM attacked the alliance parties for taking a caste jibe at him.
On Saturday, 11 May, the PM, at a rally in Uttar Pradesh’s Robertsganj, said that that he has “only one caste – the caste of the poor of the country”.
“The people of the ‘Mahamilawat’ recently started picking on my caste, I want to tell them that I belong to the caste of the poor of the country,” he said, adding, “I provided housing, water facilities, and gas facilities to the poor because I belong to them.”
Mayawati had said that Modi has not “suffered from the atrocities of casteism”.
“Entire country knows he isn’t an OBC by birth; he hasn’t suffered from the atrocities of casteism. So he shouldn’t say such lies about ‘mahagathbandhan’,” she had said in response to PM Modi’s remark that the SP-BSP ‘mahagathbandhan’ is casteist
“PM’s accusation that ‘mahagathbandhan’ is casteist is laughable and immature. How can those who suffered from casteism be casteist?” Mayawati added.
The remaining 13 of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh will go to polls in the last phase of the elections, which will be held on 19 May.