Opposition parties are currently attempting to create a united front against the BJP in preparation for next year’s Lok Sabha elections. They have been urging the ruling party to conduct a census based on caste.
The Congress, JD(U), Samajwadi Party, and RJD are all strongly advocating for a caste census voicing the same as Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.
During a speech in Bidar, Karnataka on Monday, Rahul Gandhi, a leader of the Congress party, stated that “the marginalized communities require economic and political authority, not just hollow promises.” Additionally, he pledged that once the Congress assumes power in Maharashtra, it will carry out a census based on caste.
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) April 17, 2023
Gandhi stated that in order to provide the rights of the OBC community in proportion to their population and move them forward in the country, the Prime Minister and govt of India must first release the data from the OBC census. However, according to Gandhi, the Prime Minister is unwilling to do so because he is not concerned with the welfare of the OBCs. If given the opportunity, the Congress party will release the data from the OBC census.
During an event on Sunday, Rahul Gandhi challenged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to publicly release the data from the 2011 census, which was based on caste. He also requested that reservations be given to Dalits and tribals in accordance with their population.
Mallikarjun Kharge, the president of the Congress party, has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting an updated caste census. In the letter, Kharge argues that social justice and empowerment programs cannot be fully effective without accurate data on caste.
My letter to the Prime Minister demanding the publication of Socio Economic Caste Census.
Regular decennial Census was to be carried out in 2021 but it has not been conducted. We demand that it be done immediately and that a comprehensive Caste Census be made it’s integral part. pic.twitter.com/eoL52gRFC1
— Mallikarjun Kharge (@kharge) April 17, 2023
In his letter, Kharge mentioned that the UPA government carried out a Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC) in 2011-12, which covered approximately 250 million households. However, the data on caste was not published despite requests from the Congress and other MPs after the Modi government came to power in May 2014, Kharge noted.
Kharge expressed concern that without an updated caste census, an accurate database that is crucial for social justice and empowerment programs, particularly for OBCs, is lacking. He emphasized that the responsibility for conducting this census lies with the central government.
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel acknowledged Rahul Gandhi’s request for OBC reservation, noting that the state government has already passed legislation supporting this effort in the Assembly. However, he also stated that the Reservation Bill has been delayed, and this delay is impacting those who would benefit from the legislation.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who also serves as the leader of Janata Dal United, has expressed support for the Congress’s call for a caste-based census. Kumar stated that such a census would benefit all sections of society. The BJP unit in Bihar has also supported a resolution for the caste census at an all-party meeting led by Nitish Kumar, and a unanimous resolution was subsequently passed in the Bihar Assembly. None of the leadership of the BJP has not yet responded to the Congress’s current request for a socio-economic and caste census.