Congress promises caste survey, OBCs ministry

Eyeing the 2024 LS polls, party bats for special welfare scheme for minorities, Rohith Vemula Act for students

Published: 27th February 2023 08:16 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th February 2023 08:16 AM   |  A+A-

Third day of 85th Congress Plenary session in progress in Raipur | pti

Express News Service

NAVA RAIPUR:  With an eye on the vote bank of OBCs, tribals, Dalits, and minorities, the Congress Plenary session on Sunday passed a resolution promising a dedicated ministry for OBCs, conducting a socio-economic caste census, and a special Act called the Rohith Vemula Act to protect students hailing from backward communities.

As there is growing demand from several parties including NDA allies to conduct a caste census, Congress said that it is committed to holding a socio-economic caste census along with the decennial census. “The BJP has consistently refused to conduct the caste census which would be crucial to revising the benchmark for socio-economic and educational backwardness. The Caste Census shall also enumerate De-notified Tribes and Nomadic Tribes,” said the resolution.

Incidentally, though the UPA government conducted a Socio-Economic Caste Census in 2011, the report is yet to see the light of day. The party also said that to redress the discrimination faced by the students from SC, ST, OBC, and minority communities in educational institutions, it will enact a special Act called the Rohith Vemula Act to protect and safeguard their right to education and dignity.

While the BJP is reaching out to OBCs and minorities through mass contact programs ahead of the 2024 elections, Congress has promised a dedicated ministry for the community. “We will create a dedicated ministry for the empowerment of the OBCs. The Ministry will focus on expanding educational and employment opportunities of OBCs and provision of civic amenities in their habitations,” said the resolution.

In another significant step, the resolution also promised Constitutional status to the National Commission for Minorities and National Commission for Women, a long-standing demand of activists and civil society groups. There has been renewed demand to implement the recommendations of the Sachar Committee report after the government slashed the budget allocation of the Minority Affairs Ministry and scrapped various scholarships for students from minority communities.  

“Congress party is committed to implementing a special welfare scheme for minority welfare based on the recommendations of the Sachar committee. The Multi-Sectoral Development Programme (MSDP)  and the 15-point programme for minorities (as enunciated by Indira Gandhi, reformulated by Shri Rajiv Gandhi, and effectively implemented by Dr Manmohan Singh shall be implemented in full, Congress party is committed to accord Constitutional status to the National Commission for Minorities to endow the Commission with powers to serve the community better,” it said. The party also proposed a national law to ensure that a portion of the Union Budget is earmarked in proportion to the population of SCs and STs in the country.


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