Congress fact-checks Modi's Dalit jibe about Sitaram Kesri, says PM got it wrong; backward class leader was OBC

The Congress on Sunday responded to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's comment on former Congress president Sitaram Kesri, and told the prime minister that Kesri was not a Dalit, as claimed by Modi, but belonged to the Other Backward Classes (OBC).

Manish Tewari, the party's national spokesperson tweeted, "Kesri was a Bania OBC from Bihar and not a DALIT. However, when has the prime minister allowed facts or truth to stand in the way?" He added that Kesri had been treated with "due respect by one and all", and said the prime minister was "misinformed".

On Sunday, Modi hit out at the Congress and claimed that Kesri was not allowed to complete his term as Congress president and was "thrown out of office" to make way for Sonia Gandhi.

File photo of former Congress president Sonia Gandhi and party leader Sitaram Kesri. Reuters

File photo of former Congress president Sonia Gandhi and party leader Sitaram Kesri. Reuters

Addressing a rally in Mahasamund district on the last day of campaigning for the second and final phase of the Chhattisgarh Assembly polls, Modi said four generations of a family ruled the country and "benefitted from being in power", but the country did not benefit from their rule.

"The country knows that Sitaram Kesri, a Dalit, was not allowed to complete his five-year-term as the Congress president. He was thrown out of office and to the footpath to make way for Sonia Gandhi as the new party chief," Modi said.

"Earlier, Delhi had a remote-controlled government. The remote was in the hands of a family, which was afraid of the BJP," Modi said, targeting the Congress and the Gandhis. He also challenged the Congress to select someone "capable" as its president, who did not belong to "that one family".

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Nov 19, 2018 08:22:25 IST

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