Kharge to Woo Dalits, Vows Caste Census

MP assembly polls: Eye on Dalit, OBC votes, Kharge pledges Sant Ravidas university, caste census in MP, if Congress voted to power

Update: 2023-08-23 10:49 GMT
Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge. (PTI Photo)

Bhopal: AICC president Mallikarjun Kharge on Tuesday pledged to conduct caste census and establish a university dedicated to Sant Ravidas, the 15th century social reformer and dalit icon, in Madhya Pradesh, if Congress is voted to power in the year-end assembly elections in the state.

Addressing a public rally in Sagar under Bundelkhand, one of the most backward regions of Madhya Pradesh, Mr Kharge said that Congress, if returned to power in the forthcoming assembly elections, would conduct caste census in the state for the development of the people belonging to the backward classes.

Referring to announcement by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his recent visit to Sagar to build a grand temple dedicated to Sant Ravidas at a cost of Rs 100 crore, Mr Kharge said that he hailed the move but the PM could also have saved the ancient shrine of Sant Ravidas in Delhi from being demolished.

The Sant Ravidas temple in Delhi was demolished, but it could have been saved had the PM intervened, he said.

He also said that the PM remembered Sant Ravidas now because assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh were barely a few months away.

Mr Kharge announced that Congress, if voted to power in the year-end Madhya Pradesh assembly elections, would set up a university dedicated to Sant Ravidas.

He expressed concern over the growing number of incidents of atrocities on dalits and tribals in Madhya Pradesh and accused the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government of having failed to check them.

The AICC chief also accused BJP of stealing the mandate given to his party in the 2018 assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh by poaching Congress MLAs.

BJP had stolen mandates of people in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Manipur and Madhya Pradesh by poaching the MLAs of the ruling parties there to form its government, he said.

He alleged corruption in the state BJP government and said that BJP had lost power in Karnataka in the recently held assembly elections due to 40 percent commission tag given to the previous Bommai government.

Similarly, BJP would also suffer defeat in the year-end Madhya Pradesh assembly elections due to the 50 percent commission tag allegedly earned by the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government, he added.

State Congress president and former chief minister Kamal Nath also spoke on the occasion.


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