Senior Samajwadi Party leader Naresh Agrawal triggered a row on Sunday when he made remarks about Prime Minister Narendra Modi's caste drawing severe criticism from the BJP.
At a programme organised by traders here, a person while raising concerns related to the business community mentioned that both Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah also belonged to the same section of the society.
"Tell them to make laws in favour of the community...Amit Shah is from our community, but Modi is a 'Teli'," Agarwal said prompted a strong reaction from some members of the audience who were apparently not pleased at the remarks.
Reacting strongly, UP BJP chief Mahendra Nath Pandey said, "We condemn the attempt made by SP general secretary and Rajya Sabha MP to link the name of the prime minister with a community, and demand that he should tender an apology."
In a statement, Pandey said the prime minister of India does not belong to any particular caste or community and represents all the 125 crore people. "SP indulges in caste politics and wants to create differences in the society for its vested political interests," Pandey claimed.
Later, speaking to reporters after the programme, Agrawal seemed to defend his comments. "Every person has a caste, and there is nothing new in this. If any leader is not telling his caste, then public will tell his caste...Let me give you a piece of advice, if you want to known about your three generations, then contest an MP or MLA election.
The opposition will tell what you don't know. We are not talking about the caste of the prime minister, people are talking about it," the SP leader, who has made controversial statements in the past, said.