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Rahul Gandhi Declares Caste Census the Most Transformative Decision Since Independence, Promises Swift Action if Congress Assumes Power

15-11-2023 : Rahul Gandhi, the former president of the Congress party, declared at an election rally in Chhattisgarh that should the Congress come to power at the national level, their inaugural decision would be the implementation of a caste census throughout the country. Gandhi emphasized the significance of this move, asserting that a caste census would be the most revolutionary decision since India gained independence.

In his critique of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s stance that ‘poverty’ is the sole caste in the nation, Gandhi argued against the denial of rights to Other Backward Classes (OBCs) by stating that OBCs exist, and a thorough enumeration would reveal their actual representation in the population. He expressed a commitment to conducting a caste survey in Chhattisgarh if the Congress secures power in the ongoing state assembly elections.

Regardless of whether the Prime Minister undertakes such an initiative or not, Gandhi pledged that if the Congress forms the government in Chhattisgarh, a comprehensive caste survey would be conducted in the state. Moreover, he affirmed that at the national level, the first official act of a Congress-led government would be the implementation of a caste census.

The Chhattisgarh Assembly elections have been underway, with the first phase held on November 7 and the second phase scheduled for Friday. The results are set to be announced on December 3. Notably, the Congress party had previously attained victory in the 2018 Assembly elections in Chhattisgarh, securing 68 out of 90 seats, while the BJP secured 15 seats.

The call for a nationwide caste survey has been a prominent electoral promise of the opposition INDIA bloc in the lead-up to the Lok Sabha elections. Bihar, under the leadership of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, recently increased the reservation cap in the state to 65 percent based on a caste survey report. In combination with the central government’s 10 percent quota for economically weaker sections, the overall reservation in Bihar now stands at 75 percent.