The Congress Party’s Lok Sabha Election Pitch Includes a Pan-India Caste Census.

The Congress Party's Lok Sabha Election Pitch Includes a Pan-India Caste Census.

The CWC voiced worry about the Israel-Palestine conflict and reaffirmed its long-standing support for the Palestinian people’s right to land.

If elected, the Congress will conduct a nationwide caste census and implement a 33% quota for women in national and state legislatures as soon as possible, according to the party’s highest decision-making body, with senior leader Rahul Gandhi calling a caste-based headcount a progressive and powerful step toward emancipating poor people.

The Congress Working Committee (CWC) also vowed to remove the 50% reservation cap through legislation to assure reservation to OBCs, Scheduled Castes, and Scheduled Tribes in proportion to their demographic share during a meeting in New Delhi.

Also Read: Assembly Elections 2023: Key Dates, Parties, Issues, Predictions, and Implications

Following the meeting, the former Congress president assailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi, claiming that he was incapable of conducting a caste census.

“The CWC has unanimously supported the idea of a national caste census.” “It is a progressive, historic, and powerful step toward the emancipation of our country’s poor people,” Gandhi stated. Rahul Gandhi termed the CWC decision “historic,” and claimed a caste census will be India’s “X-ray.””We will accomplish what we could not achieve earlier,” he said, admitting that the Congress made a mistake by not conducting a caste census when it was in power. This X-ray is required if we are to bring forth a new paradigm for growth in which everyone receives justice.”

The press conference came only hours after the Election Commission of India (ECI) declared assembly elections in five states — Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Telangana, and Mizoram — in what is largely seen as a virtual semifinal for the general elections in 2024.

The CWC voiced worry about the Israel-Palestine conflict and reaffirmed its long-standing support for the Palestinian people’s right to land, while also asking for an urgent suspension of hostilities and de-escalation of the situation.

Also Read: Madhya Pradesh Assembly Elections 2023 – Important Dates, Polling and Results

The CWC also intended to implement the 33% reservation for women in the Lok Sabha and state legislatures as soon as possible. The CWC also reaffirmed its prior call for the ouster of Manipur’s chief minister and the imposition of President’s Rule in the state “as the first step in resolving the crisis.”

“After a four-hour meeting, the Congress Working Committee (CWC) unanimously decided to support the idea of a caste census in the country.” “I believe it is a very progressive and powerful step toward the emancipation of the country’s poor people,” Gandhi stated.

During the press conference, Gandhi expressed confidence that the majority of the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) constituents would support a caste census. “There may be a few who hold a little different opinion, which is acceptable. “We are very adaptable and not fascist,” Gandhi continued.

Gandhi, flanked by the chief ministers of Karnataka, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, and Himachal Pradesh, declared that the Congress-ruled states will conduct a caste census.

“We have unanimously decided that a caste census is essential for India’s future, and we (CWC) have decided to do it and promise that it will be done… if we make a commitment, we ensure.” But we won’t stop there; we’ll also undertake a national economic survey. “What we haven’t done before, we will do this time, and a caste census will be required to ensure justice for all,” Gandhi added.

Also Read: Congress Cec to Finalize Candidates for Madhya Pradesh Polls Today

“Our chief ministers also believe that it is a very important step and are also considering to take action on this,” he went on to say. He further accused the Prime Minister of striving to divert the other backward classes (OBC) community, noting that only one of the BJP’s ten chief ministers is an OBC, while three of the four Congress CMs are. “PM Modi is unable to conduct the caste census… We must ask him what he has done for OBCs. “Modi never said anything about it…,” Gandhi claimed. “PM’s only work is to distract the OBC community and diverted their attention.”

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, who presided over the meeting at the party headquarters in Delhi, urged party members to work in coordination, discipline, and unity to win elections in five states. Sonia Gandhi, the Congress leader, stated on Monday that she is “100%” in favor of the caste census.

“I completely support the caste census; we must complete it.” This is our first concern,” a source acquainted with the situation quoted Gandhi as saying during her brief intervention during the meeting, according to news agency PTI.

Also Read: Rajasthan to Conduct Caste Census Like Bihar: What It Means and Why It Matters

Mizoram, with 40 seats, is the smallest of the poll-bound states and will vote on November 7. Chhattisgarh, which has a 90-member parliament, will hold elections in two stages on November 7 and 17. Elections will be held in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Telangana on November 17, 23, and 30, respectively. The Congress wants to keep power in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh while gaining control in Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, and Mizoram.

“As we approach the upcoming assembly elections and general elections [in 2024], it is important that the party works with meticulous coordination and complete discipline and unity,” Kharge remarked in the course of the discussion. “Today, our country faces inflation, unemployment, and the failure of the government to implement the Old Pension Scheme.” The ruling party’s divisive methods and mismanagement of autonomous entities endangers democratic stability.”

Throwing his support behind the nationwide caste census demand, the Congress head stated that it is critical to have socioeconomic data on the situation of the weaker sections of society in order to ensure social justice to them.

Kharge has stated that if his party is elected in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, he will impose women’s reservation. He also urged party members to combat the ruling BJP’s “false propaganda,” warning that “attacks and falsehood would increase as elections approached.”

Also Read: Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot Announces Caste Census, Following Bihar’s Footsteps

In response, BJP national spokesperson Syed Zafar Islam stated, “Rahul Gandhi and his team are misleading the nation, and everyone knows that our government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has done many things for the OBCs in the last 9.5 years.”

“We established the OBC commission when Congress had not even considered it.” We have given them considerable representation and a large number of seats… The national government is responsible for conducting caste censuses, which will be completed at the appropriate time, but the states run by the unholy alliance are attempting to do so in order to mislead the OBC group in order to obtain some votes. But the OBC community knows that the Congress has always ignored them, and it is the BJP government that has protected their interests,” Islam added in his remark.

At the press conference, Gandhi requested a show of hands from journalists to determine how many of them were Dalits or OBCs in order to demonstrate that people from marginalized groups did not receive their fair share.

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