Rahul reiterates caste census, Kharge promises NYAY scheme if INDIA alliance comes to power : The Tribune India

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Rahul reiterates caste census, Kharge promises NYAY scheme if INDIA alliance comes to power

The two leaders were speaking at Congress’ 139th foundation day rally in Nagpur

Rahul reiterates caste census, Kharge promises NYAY scheme if INDIA alliance comes to power

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge with party leaders Rahul Gandhi and KC Venugopal during party's 'Hain Tayyar Hum' rally, in Nagpur on December 28, 2023. PTI



PTI

Nagpur, December 28

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said the OBCs, Dalits and tribals do not have enough representation in many sectors in the country and reiterated that a caste census will be conducted if Opposition’s INDIA alliance came to power, while party chief Mallikarjun Kharge promised implementation of the NYAY scheme for the poor.

The two leaders were speaking at the Congress’s 139th foundation day rally—titled ‘Hain Taiyyar Hum’ (we are ready) -- in Nagpur city which also houses the headquarters of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), and sounded the bugle for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

Nagpur has two ideologies, one of Dr B R Ambedkar which is progressive and the other of the RSS which is “destroying the nation”, Kharge said. Notably, the city is home to Deekshabhoomi where Ambedkar converted to Buddhism along with his followers.

Senior party leader Sonia Gandhi and general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra did not attend the rally, “The foundation of the battle for political power is ideology and the Congress’s objective is to hand over power to the common man,” Rahul Gandhi said.

The BJP government has pushed a large number of people back into poverty, he claimed.

“We do not want two Indias. Only the INDIA alliance can provide employment to the youth,” Gandhi said.

He reiterated that after coming to power at the Centre, the INDIA alliance’s government will conduct a caste survey.

“How many youth have been given employment in the last ten years by the Modi government? Unemployment is at all-time high now,” the Congress leader said.

OBCs, Dalits and tribals do not have representation in commensurate with their population in various sectors, Gandhi claimed.

“Earlier prime minister Narendra Modi would describe himself as an OBC. But after my demand (of caste census), he says there is only one caste, the poor. If there is only one caste, why do you say you are an OBC,” the Congress leader asked.

Orders come from the top in the BJP while in Congress even an ordinary worker can question the leadership, Gandhi said.

“The country’s reins should be in the hands of the common man. Princely states had a partnership with the British. The common man was fighting both the British and the princely states,” he said.

The Green Revolution, White Revolution and Information Technology revolution were ushered in by farmers, women and the youth, respectively, while the Congress governments laid down the vision for these revolutions, Gandhi said.

He also accused the BJP of capturing all democratic institutions.

Speaking in Marathi, Congress chief Kharge said Nagpur is the land of revolutionaries where Babasaheb Ambedkar and Mahatma Gandhi worked extensively.

“If the BJP and RSS came to power again, democracy will be finished. There are two ideologies in Nagpur, one is the progressive one which belongs to Ambedkar, and other is that of the RSS which is destroying the country,” the veteran leader said.

Prime minister Modi was against social justice and equality, Kharge alleged.

“Democracy is under threat. Inflation has skyrocketed, unemployment is also high. There are 30 lakh vacancies which are not being filled up because Backward Classes would have to be accomodated,” he said.

The poor are becoming more poor while the rich are becoming richer under the Modi government, Kharge said.

“If the INDIA alliance is voted to power, the NYAY scheme will be implemented for the empowerment of the poor including women,” he said, referring to the scheme promised by the Congress before the 2019 elections where the poor households were to get Rs 6000 per month.

PM Modi does not visit Manipur where atrocities took place on women but he goes to Surat to inaugurate a diamond bourse building, the Congress president said.

He also alleged that the prime minister does not respect Parliament as he does not attend its proceedings. “To protect one BJP MP who signed the documents to allow the intruders who jumped into the Lok Sabha well, 146 MPs (of the Opposition) have been suspended,” Kharge said, referring to the security breach at Parliament earlier this month.

The BJP was trying to divide the INDIA grouping “because if we unite, the BJP will be nowhere,” he said.

The BJP government did not fulfil its promises of creating two crore jobs every year and giving Rs 15 lakh to each citizen, Kharge said.

“Support INDIA alliance to save democracy and the country. Now, leaving aside all important issues facing the country, the BJP will highlight God,” he said referring to the Ram temple inauguration at Ayodhya scheduled for the next month.

The victories of the Congress in Karnataka and Telangana assembly elections were morale-boosters and there was no need to get disheartened by the recent defeats in other states, he said.

#Caste census #Congress #Dalits #Mallikarjun Kharge #Rahul Gandhi


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