Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday said his party would conduct a ”caste census” if elected to power as only such an exercise would ensure ”participation of OBCs, Dalits, tribals and women”.
He also asked why the Narendra Modi government had not released the details of a ’caste census’ conducted by the Congress (when it was in power) and sought to know if the PM was afraid of such an exercise.
Addressing the state government’s ’Awas Nyay Sammelan’ in Parsada (Sakri) village in Bilaspur, Gandhi also waved a remote control at the crowd and said the poor and needy were benefited when the Congress presses it, while ”Adani gets ports, airports and railway contracts” when the ruling BJP does the same.
“The Congress had conducted a caste census that has the record of the population of every caste in the country. The Union government has this report but Modiji doesn’t want to reveal it,” he claimed.
”Caste census has to be conducted if we want to give participation to Other Backward Classes, Dalits, tribals and women. If Modiji does not conduct a caste census, then when we are elected to power our first step will be to conduct a caste census to ensure OBC participation,” Gandhi asserted.
Gandhi said the government is run by secretaries and cabinet secretaries and not MPs and MLAs, and pointed out that only three of the 90 secretaries in various Union government ministries are OBCs.
These three persons control only 5 per cent of the country’s budget, Gandhi said and questioned if India only had 5 per cent OBC population.
Asserting that the caste census is the answer to such questions, Gandhi asked why Modi was scared of the enumeration exercise.
At the event, during which he launched the Bhupesh Baghel government’s ’Gramin Awas Nyay Yojna (GANY)’ aimed at providing financial assistance to the homeless and families having kutcha houses in rural areas, Gandhi brandished a remote control to target the Modi government.
Gandhi said he had pressed a remote control today and several thousand crore rupees went into the accounts of people of Chhattisgarh.
He said the housing scheme launched during the day covers those persons who were entitled to get assistance under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana but never got it as the Centre failed to provide funds despite repeated reminders from the state government, Gandhi said.
”We (Congress) press a remote control in front of cameras. The BJP does it secretly. When BJP presses a remote control, (industrialist Gautam) Adani gets Mumbai’s airport and railway contracts,” he alleged.
”There are two remote controls. When we press it, farmers receive money into their accounts through Nyay Scheme and English medium schools get opened (in Chhattisgarh). But when BJP presses a remote, the public sector gets privatized and jal-jungle-zameen (water, forests and land) goes to Adani,” Gandhi claimed.
Gandhi alleged his Lok Sabha membership was cancelled after he questioned PM Modi’s relations with Adani.
Gandhi was disqualified as LS member after a court in Surat in Gujarat sentenced him to two years in jail for a remark at a rally in Karnataka about why thieves had the surname Modi.
His conviction was later stayed by the Supreme Court, after which he got back his membership of the Lower House.
(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)