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Last Updated : May 11, 2019 09:45 PM IST | Source: PTI

I belong to the caste of the poor, says PM Modi; slams SP, BSP for raising questions over his caste

The prime minister also brought up national security, accusing a previous coalition government of weakening the intelligence agencies. He recalled the Pokhran nuclear tests 21 years ago this day.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi Saturday came down heavily on the opposition alliance in Uttar Pradesh for raising questions on his caste, asserting that he belongs to the caste of all poor countrymen.

Addressing election rallies in Sonebhadra and nearby Ghazipur, Modi also kept up his attack the Congress over its leader Sam Pitroda's hua to hua (It happened, so what?) remark on the anti-Sikh riots in 1984.

The prime minister also brought up national security, accusing a previous coalition government of weakening the intelligence agencies. He recalled the Pokhran nuclear tests 21 years ago this day.

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"They have destroyed Uttar Pradesh and now the SP and the BJP have come together to save themselves from destruction,” he said, calling the opposition alliance “mahamilawati” or highly adulterated.

“They have started a new thing about my caste,” he said, in an apparent reference to Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati's jibe that he is a “farzi backward” - a fake OBC leader.

“I want to tell them that Modi belongs to just one caste -- whatever caste the poor belong to, I belong to that caste," he said, listing the schemes that his government has launched for them.

"The SP and the BSP have been attacking me on my caste,” he said. “I was born in a backward caste. I was born poor but worked relentlessly for removing poverty. To those asking for my caste certificate, my only caste is poverty."

He charged that in the name of poverty and caste, these leaders amassed crores of rupees.

“I have been the longest serving CM of Gujarat. For the past five years, I have been PM. You can see my bank account and show me if there is any bungalow in my name,” he said.

Referring to the previous Manmohan Singh government, he said, “So many scams took place but the Congress and its people had no remorse as their way of thinking is 'hua to hua'," he said, bringing up Pitroda's remark.

"It shows the character and mentality of the party, he said.

“The 'hua to hua' remark reflects the arrogance of the Congress," he said.

The Congress and its 'mahamilawati' friends have run country on three words -- their mantra is 'hua to hua',” he said.

"This is their arrogance. They think of themselves as kings and the people as their servants," he said.

He claimed that the country's intelligence agencies suffered when a third front government, which included the Samajwadi Party, was in power at the Centre.

"Our intelligence agencies were weakened by an earlier 'mahamilawati' government, but the Vajpayee government set that right," he said.

"Many people connected with our security and intelligence agencies have written a lot about this. They have written how they had made the intelligence network hollow and the country had to bear its consequences for long, he said.

“What the third front government did is in no way less than a crime," he said.

"Whenever there is a 'mahamilawati' government in the country, it has threatened national security, he said.

The prime minister hailed scientists for the successful Pokhran nuclear tests this day in 1998.

“This historic event in 1998 proves what strong political will can do for national security," he said.

Modi cited the Balakot air strikes against Pakistan as an example of what a bold government can accomplish.

"This is the new India. Now India barges into the hideouts of terrorists and kills them," he said.

In Ghazipur, where the BJP candidate is Union minister Manoj Sinha, the prime minister lauded the local people for sending their sons to the Army.

He slammed Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy over an alleged remark about those joining the services.

"In Karnataka, the leader whom the Congress made the CM, whose father was also once a PM, said that only those people who are poor, who don't have anything to eat go to serve in the Army. Isn't this an insult to our army? Modi said.

The Congress, the SP or the BSP have so far condemned the statement showing that they don't respect our jawans, he claimed.

He said the SP, the BSP and the Congress are concerned only about removing him from power.

“They only have dreams of becoming PM but have no vision," he said.

On the backwardness of the Purvanchal region, he said, "The Congress has cheated the poor for generations, collected votes in the name of poverty and Ghazipur is a testimony of this."

"The Congress, the SP and the BSP have always thought of their family's development and not that of the nation or the backward areas.

Both Sonebhadra and Ghazipur go to polls in the seventh and last phase of Lok Sabha polls on May 19.

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First Published on May 11, 2019 09:15 pm
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