Dalits need positions in power structure: Rahul

Highlighting the urgency of a caste census, Rahul said it was clear that benefits could be provided to Dalits and backward classes only on the basis of a caste census.

Published: 20th November 2023 07:37 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th November 2023 07:37 AM   |  A+A-

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi addresses a public meeting ahead of Rajasthan Assembly elections, in Bundi district, Sunday, Nov. 19, 2023. (PTI)

By Express News Service

JAIPUR: Rahul Gandhi yet again raised the pitch for a caste census in the country in his election rallies in east Rajasthan on Sunday. This is the region where the Congress did well in the last elections. It was in this region where PM Narendra Modi alleged on Saturday that the Congress was an anti-Dalit party.

Rahul on Sunday responded by saying that it was not enough for Dalits to occupy some “decorative high positions.” What was required, he said, was a greater participation of them in the power structures and institutions of the country.

Addressing an election rally in Bundi district, Rahul linked caste census to the influence of bureaucracy in the Modi government. “Everyone has a misconception that the country is being run by Parliament and the MLAs. It is not so; the country is being run by 90 officers. Of them, the number of tribals, backward classes and Dalits is only 7.”

Highlighting the urgency of a caste census, Rahul said it was clear that benefits could be provided to Dalits and backward classes only on the basis of a caste census. “Indian children want to become IAS and not MPs, MLAs because the country is run by government officials,” Rahul said. He said that the lifelong term of officers, as opposed to the fixed five-year tenure of elected representatives, curtails the participation of Dalits and tribals in decision-making processes.

“Narendra Modi cannot do caste census…he can do it for Adani. Caste census can be done only by Rahul Gandhi and Congress,” said Rahul. He painted a transformative picture for the country once the caste census is actualized.

Accusing the Modi government of dispensing one-sided benefits to industrialists, Rahul also underscored the need for a caste census as a critical tool to rectify economic disparities in the country. “When Prime Minister Narendra Modi is asked about caste census and to get full participation of OBCs, he says that there is no caste in the country, there is only one caste, that is poverty.”

Despite Modi’s rhetoric, Rahul said the government had failed to accord full rights to the marginalized communities. He also alleged that PM Modi waived a staggering Rs 14 lakh crore in loans for billionaires like Adani, benefiting a select few, none of whom belonged to the Dalit, tribal, or backward classes. This, he claimed, was money extracted from common people in the form of GST. Expanding on his perspective on India, he said in his view, the poor, the elderly, the backward, the Dalits, and the tribals are Mother India. 

‘Benefits to biz men’ 
Rahul forcefully responded to the charge that his party is an anti-Dalit party. He alleged the Modi govt was being run by a group of officers who are non-Dalits. He also accused the government of facilitating benefits to a section of industrialists.

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