Last Updated: October 19, 2023, 16:51 IST
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday promised to conduct the caste census in Telangana if his party is voted to power in the state. Addressing corner meetings on the way from Bhupalpally to Peddapalli during the Congress’ ongoing ‘Vijayabheri’ Yatra in the state, where Assembly elections will be held on November 30, he accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao of not speaking on the issue.
Rahul Gandhi said the biggest issue in the country is with regard to caste census and termed it an “X-ray” that will throw light on the condition of Dalits, tribals, and OBCs, and added it will also determine how the country’s funds are being distributed. He asked the people to question Modi and KCR as to when they will conduct the caste census, and said if the Congress is voted to power in Telangana then the first work his party’s government will do is to take up “X-ray” in the state.
He said Congress-ruled states-Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Karnataka- have been told to conduct caste census. “To fulfill the dreams of Telangana, caste census has to be conducted. I promise you, the Congress party will get the caste census done in Telangana,” Rahul Gandhi said. The former Congress president said he had raised the issue of caste census in Parliament. He said that only 90 top officers/ bureaucrats run the country and only three of them belong to the OBC (Other Backward Classes) category. “These (OBC) officers control just five per cent of the budget,” he claimed.
“My question is whether the OBCs population in the country is just five per cent,” he asked. He further said today loans worth billions of rupees of industrialists have been waived off. “Adani ji takes loans and his loans get waived off. Without asking, the loan is waived off. But bank loans of farmers, labourers, women and youth is never waived off. GST is taken from the pockets of shopkeepers and it goes into the pockets of Adani,” he alleged.
“We don’t want such an India. That’s why the first step is an “X-ray” of the country–the caste census. And a new chapter will be written in India’s progress,” he said. According to him, “X-ray” will also ascertain how much of Telangana’s money the “Chief Minister’s family “looted”.
Alleging that Telangana is the most corrupt state in country, Rahul Gandhi charged lakhs of crores of rupees has been snatched away from people and the Telangana model of corruption was being exported to other states. The Congress party has fulfilled the promises it made to the people of Karnataka and similarly the promises made to the people of Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh were also fulfilled, he said.
The Congress will implement its six guarantees in Telangana, he said, adding they have not come here with false promises and accused KCR of not fulfilling his electoral promises. Rahul Gandhi said the upcoming electoral battle is between Dorala (feudal lords) Telangana and Prajala (people’s) Telangana and said he felt that KCR is going to lose the elections. “You (people) wanted that the people of Telangana should rule the state, but it has been 10 years your chief minister has gone far away from you and only one family has been ruling Telangana and it has complete control,” he claimed. He said the BRS, BJP and AIMIM attack the Congress party and reiterated his charge that BJP government at the Centre misuses central agencies against opposition leaders to scare them.
If the Telangana Chief Minister is really fighting against the BJP then why there are no cases against him and why no ED, IT and CBI inquiry happened against him, the former Congress chief asked. “I fight against the BJP and there are twenty-four cases against me. I was disqualified from Parliament and my house was taken away. My fight is with the ideology of RSS and BJP,” Rahul Gandhi said. The BJP and the Telangana Chief Minister have joined hands, and the BRS and BJP are working together, he said and cited BRS’ support to the BJP in passing bills in Parliament. On the Asaduddin Owaisi-led AIMIM, Rahul Gandhi said the AIMIM fields its candidates where the BJP wants it to.
“You don’t think that AIMIM is fighting against BJP. Wherever Congress fights elections against BJP in any part of the country, the AIMIM fields its candidates to disturb the Congress. It is the BJP which tells the AIMIM where the candidates are to be fielded. This is the truth. The BJP benefits from AIMIM and AIMIM also benefits from BJP. And the same is with BJP and BRS. And the Telangana public suffers,” he added.
(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)