October 10, 2023
NEW DELHI – Rahul Gandhi declared that the Congress-ruled states would conduct caste-based surveys. He said the Congress Working Committee (CWC) has unanimously supported the idea of a caste-based census as it is necessary for the future of the country.
Addressing a press conference at the party headquarters here on Monday, the senior Congress leader, who has been pitching for the nationwide caste census, said, “In the CWC meeting, we have unanimously supported the idea of a caste census.”
The Congress MP from Wayanad, Kerala, flanked by the chief ministers of Congress-governed states, including Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, said, “Our chief ministers also believe that it is an important step. They are considering carrying out such a survey in their respective states.”
It may be noted here that the Ashok Gehlot-led government in Rajasthan announced a caste-based census in the state last week.
Gandhi said, “The caste census will open a new path of development. We will pressurise the BJP to carry out the exercise in the entire country, or then get out of the way so that we can do the same. If the caste census is carried out in the country, the poor will get their share,” he said.
In this context, the Congress Lok Sabha MP accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of misleading the country.
When asked if the parties associated with the INDIA bloc support the caste census, he said, “Most of the parties in the INDIA bloc are unanimous on the caste census. However, there could be a few who might have a slightly different position.”
“We are not in favour of a fascist system but are quite flexible in our stand. I am confident the majority of the INDIA bloc is going to support and push the idea of caste census,” he added.
On the assembly elections due in five states, Gandhi said, “Congress party will do very well in the upcoming assembly polls. People are angry with the BJP because of inflation, unemployment, and inequality.”
Meanwhile, the Election Commission has announced the schedule for assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Telangana, and Mizoram in what is being seen as a dress rehearsal for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. While the polling will take place from November 7 to 17, the counting of votes will be held on December 3.
Earlier in the day, the CWC, in its meeting, passed a resolution to conduct a nationwide caste census as part of the normal decadal Census which was due in 2021. Besides, the party would implement the women’s reservation and extend its benefits to the OBC women if voted to power in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
The CWC expressed its deepest condolences to the families of those who have lost their lives in the Sikkim flash floods and called upon the Centre to provide all the assistance to the northeastern state.
On the occasion, the party’s highest decision-making body hailed the Bihar government for the release of the report of the caste survey in the state.
The CWC reiterated its demand for the immediate removal of Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh and imposition of President’s Rule in the state as “the first step in resolving the unprecedented crisis in Manipur” and condemned the “government’s raids” on dozens of journalists and writers and the invocation of anti-terror laws against them.