Sharmishtha Mukherjee, the daughter of former President Pranab Mukharjee, shares anecdotes of her father's equation with the Gandhis and PM Modi.
Why Prime Minister Narendra Modi is “scared” of conducting a caste census? This is the question asked by Rahul Gandhi while addressing Rajasthan PCC functionaries at a huge rally here at Mansarovar grounds.
Underscoring the significance of the caste census in the country, the Congress leader said it is essential to determine the exact number of OBCs, Dalits, and tribals.
Assuring that the Congress would implement the women’s reservation Bill if voted to power in the 2024 general elections, he said that the purpose of the Modi Government behind calling a special session of Parliament was to change the name of the country from India to Bharat.
However, when the PM assessed that the public mood was not in favour of the name change, he brought the Women’s Reservation Bill, and got it cleared with the support of the INDIA bloc in both Houses of Parliament, he alleged.
In this context, he read out the preamble of the constitution that reads: India that is Bharat.
Gandhi said the entire Opposition supported the Women’s Reservation Bill with the hope of seeing its implementation right away, but the BJP wanted to delay the implementation by ten years.
“In a recently-held LS session, when I did research, I came to know what is the participation of OBC, Dalit, and tribal classes in our institutions. Today’s India is run by 90 people. Today’s India is run by the Prime Minister along with 90 officers. There are the secretaries of every ministry. The Prime Minister talks about OBCs, but out of these 90 officers, only 3 are OBCs. These 3 secretaries take 5 percent of the budget decisions, and they too are cornered in the office”, he recalled.
Gandhi said, “The caste census is necessary to give proper representation to every class in India. The census will reveal how many people belong to which class in India. We talk about giving participation to OBCs, but until the number of OBCs is not known, how will the work be done? Why is the Prime Minister afraid of the caste census? We had conducted this census, you have the figures, put those figures before the people of India and also get the caste census conducted in the next census. Don’t insult OBC. Modi is neither able to talk about Adani nor about OBCs.”
He said if the Modi Government wants a fresh census, it should be the caste census. He pleaded not to ditch the OBCs and women who, he said, deserve quota benefits in Parliament.
Lauding the Gehlot Government in Rajasthan for introducing 3,600 English medium schools at village level, he said, “Recently, BJP leaders were giving speeches against English. I asked them where their children study. Their children study English medium. BJP leaders want their children to study in English while the children of the poor should not study English. “They want to create two Indias, one for the poor and while the other for the rich, he pointed out.
On his recent interaction with porters at the Anand Vihar railway station, he said they were happy that the Gehlot Government ensured the best medical healthcare in the state.
Rahul made an appeal to the party functionaries to popularise the Gehlot Government’s 10 flagship schemes and ask the Opposition BJP leaders why the Modi Government was afraid of conducting a ‘caste census’ based on OBC/Dalit/Tribals.