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Mayawati slams PM Narendra Modi over caste politics, says he converted to OBC for political gains

The BSP supremo also denied calling the PM ''neech'' (from low caste).

Mayawati slams PM Narendra Modi over caste politics, says he converted to OBC for political gains

LUCKNOW: Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati hit out on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday by claiming that the BJP leader had converted to the backward category during his tenure as Gujarat chief minister for political gains.

"Like Mulayam Singh Yadav and Akhilesh Yadav, Narendra Modi was not born in backward caste. When he was the chief minister of Gujarat, he got his upper caste included in the backward category to derive political benefit during elections," the BSP chief said while addressing a press conference in the state capital Lucknow.

The BSP supremo also denied calling the PM ''neech'' (from low caste).

''Today in Kannauj, PM Modi said that we (Mayawati and Akhilesh) had called him 'neech' but we never said so. His accusations are baseless. With due respect, we had always considered him someone belonging to the upper caste,'' Mayawati said.

The BSP chief further claimed that PM Modi is trying hard to get votes in the name of caste, but BJP's Dalit-backward card has failed miserably in this election in Uttar Pradesh.

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The remarks from Mayawati came hours after PM Modi slammed the SP-BSP-RLD alliance in Uttar Pradesh, saying the tie-up of "opportunists" wants a ''helpless government'' because its mantra is "jaat, paat japna; janata ka maal apna".

PM Modi made these remarks while addressing election rallies in Kannauj, a Samajwadi Party stronghold, Hardoi and Sitapur.

Dubbing the alliance as 'mahamilavati (highly adulterated) opportunists', PM Modi said in Kannauj that he doesn't believe in politics of caste.

"Mayawatiji (BSP chief), I am most backward... I request with folded hands not to drag me into caste politics, 130 crore people are my family," he said.

"This country didn't know my caste till my detractors abused me... I am thankful to Mayawatiji, Akhileshji (SP chief), 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," the PM said. 

The accusations and counter-accusations came on a day when the high-decibel campaigning for the fourth phase of the ongoing 2019 Lok Sabha election in 72 parliamentary constituencies across nine states ended on Saturday. Polling for the same will be held on Monday, April 29 under the watchful eyes of the Election Commission of India. 

Voters in 13 Lok Sabha constituencies in UP will also vote on April 29. Uttar Pradesh sends 80 MPs to the Lok Sabha.

Over 12 crore 79 lakh voters will cast their votes to decide the fate of 961candidates at over 1 lakh 40 thousand polling booths across nine states on April 29..