Caste census across India gets nod from CWC post elections

| Updated: 09 October, 2023 7:31 pm IST
Caste census across India gets nod from CWC post elections (TNI Photo by Sumit Kumar)

NEW DELHI: The Congress Working Committee (CWC) has expressed its support for the caste census conducted by the Bihar government and pledged to conduct a nationwide caste census. Simultaneously, on Monday, it strongly criticised the Modi government for neglecting its “constitutional duty” by delaying the decennial census, which should have been conducted in 2021 or shortly thereafter.

The Committee said, “The CWC welcomes the release of the caste survey/headcount conducted by the Bihar government. The disparity between representation and share in population revealed by the final figures of the survey highlights the urgent need to take effective steps to ensure social justice.

“The Modi government has cheated the OBC communities and other deprived sections of the country by not releasing the data of the 2011 Socio-Economic and caste census and not carrying out a fresh caste census; it has also failed in its Constitutional duty by inordinately postponing the decadal census that ought to have been conducted in 2021 or soon thereafter.”  

AICC Chief Mallikarjun Kharge, in his opening speech at today’s CWC meeting, said, “We have demanded a nationwide Caste-based Census, crucial for effective government programs and welfare schemes…We must also expedite efforts to highlight government failures and raise concerns affecting the common people.”

View His Tweet Here:

The Congress party has assured the public of conducting the census and expediting the implementation of the 33 per cent reservation for women, as per the Women’s Reservation Bill, 2023, which was approved during a special session of the Parliament in September.

In the resolution of the CWC, the party has stated the following promises:

I. Conduct a nationwide Caste Census as part of the normal decadal Census which was due in 2021. 

II. Implement the 33 per cent reservation for women in the Lok Sabha and state legislative assemblies at the earliest, ensuring adequate representation for women belonging to Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs), and OBCs as well. The unnecessary obstacles of Census and delimitation imposed by the Modi government will be removed.

III. Eliminate the 50 per cent limit through legislation for the reservation of OBCs, SCs, and STs, aligning it with their proportionate share of the population.

Rahul Gandhi, at the CWC meeting today, stressed the significance of caste census in Indian politics, asserting that there’s “no litmus test” in politics. “Caste census will open a new paradigm”, he added. He also expressed concerns about OBCs and Dalits being potentially distracted by the government. “PM wants to divert the OBCs”, Gandhi expressed.

Furthermore, the Congress said, “The demand for the caste census was repeatedly expressed state after state by multiple delegations during the Bharat Jodo Yatra, and finds voice in the Raipur declaration at the 85th Congress Plenary Session.”

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