During a public meeting, Rahul Gandhi, MP Congress leader, raised questions about the OBC status of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This has brought the issue of caste-based reservations in India back into the spotlight.
The National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) has clarified that the Modh Ghanchi caste, to which Modi belongs, is included in the Mandal list under category 91 (a). On July 25, 1994, the Gujarat government had issued a public notice to include the Modh Ghanchi caste in the state’s OBC list.
Further, the NCBC had advised the central government on November 15, 1997, to include Modh-Ghanchi in the central OBC list for Gujarat state. A gazette notification for the same was issued on October 27, 1999. As per the National Commission for Backward Classes Act, 1993, the NCBC generally advises the central government to include any caste/community in the central OBC list. Currently, there are 104 castes/communities in the central OBC list for Gujarat state, including Modh Ghanchi.
Interestingly, when these decisions were taken to include Modh-Ghanchi in the state OBC list and the central OBC list, Narendra Modi did not hold any legislative or executive position. This detail adds another layer to the ongoing discussion about caste-based reservations and their implications in India.