INDIA will conduct caste census if voted to power: Rahul Gandhi
The promise came two days after Rahul Gandhi pitched in Parliament for the census and reservation for OBCs in the women’s quota bill
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday promised the Opposition Indian National Development Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) will conduct a caste census if the grouping is voted to power to determine the actual representation of the Other Backward Classes (OBC), Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST).
The promise came two days after Gandhi pitched in Parliament for the census and reservation for OBCs in the women’s quota bill. He said only three of the 90 secretaries of the government of India were OBCs and demanded the bill be implemented immediately. Gandhi argued there was no need to wait for a census and delimitation.
“As soon as our government comes, the caste census will be done. The country will know how many OBCs, SCs, STs are there. This would not be done in a day but our intention is clear,” Gandhi said.
He said the Congress should have included the OBC quota in the 2008 women’s reservation bill, which was passed in Rajya Sabha but was shelved amid opposition from allies. “The BJP [Bharatiya Janata Party] wants to distract from two issues: [allegations of stock manipulation against] Adani [Group] and caste census. They do not want to give real power to OBCs.” He added the BJP has concentrated power in Adani.
“I was shocked to find just three of the 90 most important secretaries are OBCs. Do the OBCs constitute just 5% of India? Is that the participation we want of OBCs? So the question is how many OBCs? The only way to know this is caste census.”
Gandhi insisted the BJP has concentrated power in the hands of few people. “You can ask any MP [member of Parliament] or MLAs [member of legislative assembly], how much they participate in the lawmaking... The fact is a large mass of Indian people do not have any power.”
He called the women’s reservation central and critical step but said it is not going to be implemented now. “It will be implemented 10 years from now. The problem with the bill is implementation. The 10-year delay...means nothing.”