In a political rally held in Sagar, Madhya Pradesh, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi once again took aim at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, this time focusing on the issue of caste-based census. He boldly proclaimed that if the Congress came to power in the state, they would not only conduct a caste-based census at the regional level but also at the national level. This move, he claims, would provide a comprehensive understanding of the population and help formulate policies to uplift marginalized communities.
The Censure of PM Modi
Addressing a crowd of eager supporters, Rahul Gandhi criticized Prime Minister Modi for his evolving stance on caste-based census. He pointed out that while Modi initially identified as OBC (Other Backward Class) himself, he recently made statements suggesting that in India, there is only one caste - the poor. Gandhi alleged that Modi had sidestepped the issue of caste since the Congress raised the topic, implying that he was reluctant to acknowledge the struggles faced by OBCs, Dalits, and Adivasi youth.
The Invisible Caste
Rahul Gandhi went further to assert that the Prime Minister no longer discusses caste-based census in his speeches. This, he argued, was a deliberate attempt to avoid addressing the concerns of OBCs, Dalits, and Adivasi youth.
BJP Government in Madhya Pradesh Under Fire
The former Congress President also took a swipe at the BJP government in Madhya Pradesh, highlighting the glaring underrepresentation of OBC officials in the state's bureaucracy. He revealed that out of the 53 IAS officers responsible for governing the state, only one belongs to the OBC category.
This discrepancy, Gandhi argued, signifies that if the state's budget were hypothetically represented by 100 rupees, OBC officers would only have control over 0.03 rupees, or 0.03% of the total budget. He accused the government of neglecting the interests of marginalized communities.
The Burden of Debt and Farmer Suicides
In a somber tone, Rahul Gandhi turned his attention to the issue of mounting farmer debt and suicides in Madhya Pradesh. He lamented that over the past 18 years, nearly 18,000 farmers had tragically taken their own lives due to the burdens of debt and the agricultural crisis in the state.
Demonetization and GST Impact
Blaming the central government, Gandhi cited demonetization and the Goods and Services Tax (GST) as contributors to the unemployment crisis in the country. He argued that these policies had a disproportionate impact on small and medium-sized businesses, resulting in a significant rise in unemployment.