Congress raises pitch for caste-based census, seeks removal of 50% cap on quota


The Congress on Monday accused the government of resorting to caste-based politics to attack the Opposition and resisting a socio-economic and caste census in the country.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said that the underprivileged need economic and political power and not empty words as he again called for removing the 50 per cent cap on quota and demanded reservations for Dalits and tribals based on their population.
Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge has also written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding an up-to-date caste census, saying meaningful social justice and empowerment programmes are incomplete in the absence of such data.
“Prime Minister ji, the underprivileged need political and economic power, not empty words,” Gandhi said in a tweet in Hindi.
“Take these three steps: Make the 2011 census figures public, tell how many OBCs are there in the country and remove the 50 percent cap on reservations. Give reservation to Dalits, tribals according to their population,” he said. Kharge stressed that conducting the census is the responsibility of the Union Government
“I am writing to you to once again place on record the demand of the Indian National Congress for an up-to-date Caste Census. My colleagues and I have raised this demand earlier in both Houses of Parliament on a number of occasions as have leaders of many other opposition parties,” the Congress chief said in his letter dated April 16.
Congress leader Kanhaiya Kumar said if the government is really concerned about the OBCs, why is it “reluctant” to issue the data pertaining to caste and social and economic status.
He also echoed the demand to carry out a caste and social-economic census in the country to ascertain the number of people and their economic and social status that will help formulate its policies.
“The prime minister claims he belongs to the other backward classes. If the government really loves the OBCs, then it becomes important to ask some questions to the government. Why is the Government of India so reluctant to issue the data pertaining to caste and social and economic status of people in the country,” he asked.