CWC Makes Caste Census Central Plank for Assembly Polls

NEW DELHI: The Congress Working Committee, the party’s highest decision-making body, met here on Monday, and made the caste census its central plank for the coming Assembly polls as well next year’s general election.

After the CWC meeting, top party leader Rahul Gandhi said the working committee has taken a “historic decision” unanimously to support the idea of a nationwide caste census, asserting it is a "powerful step" for the emancipation of the poor. Addressing a press conference after the CWC meeting, Mr Gandhi expressed confidence that a vast majority of the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) parties will support and push for a caste census. If any party has a different opinion, the Congress was flexible on the issue, “not fascist”, he added.

Flanked by the party’s chief ministers in four states, Mr Gandhi also said the CWC’s decision to back a caste census is a “very progressive” and “powerful” step for emancipation of poor people. Talking about the idea of a caste census, the former Congress chief said this “X-ray” is needed for a new paradigm and development in the country. He further said: “The Congress Party has decided to not just support the idea of a caste census but to force the BJP to carry out the census or make them get out of the way so that we can carry it out.”

Launching a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Congress leader claimed that the former was not capable of conducting the caste census. “The PM is incapable of doing the caste census. We have four CMs and out of that three are OBC leaders. The BJP has 10 CMs, and among them one is an OBC. We have to ask PM Modi what has he done for the OBC community? Modi never spoke a word on this, and this is so because it is acceptable for them. The PM’s only work is to distract the OBC community and divert their attention”, he said.

Addressing the CWC, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge asked party workers to work in coordination, discipline and unity and put in all their might to win the elections in the five states. The Congress president also said the party would implement women’s reservation if voted to power in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. While asking party leaders to expedite efforts to highlight the government’s failures, he said they must immediately counter the “false propaganda” of the ruling BJP as such attacks and “falsehood” will increase as the elections approach.

After the meeting, the CWC passed seven resolutions, including on the disaster in Sikkim, the situation in Manipur, on its commitment to a nationwide caste census, and to condemn the raids on writers and journalists, concern about the RBI data on falling financial assets of Indian households.

Finally, the Congress extended support for the Palestinians a day after it “condemned” the “brutal attacks on the people of Israel” by the Palestinian militant group Hamas. A resolution passed during the CWC meeting on Monday voiced anguish on the conflict and called for a ceasefire and negotiations to be started. The resolution also supported the rights of the Palestinian people.

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