New Delhi, Apr 17 (PTI) Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and demanded an up-to-date caste census.
In his letter, Kharge said that in the absence of an updated caste-wise census, a reliable data base, which is much needed for meaningful social justice and empowerment programmes, is incomplete, especially for OBCs.
“I am writing to you once again to register the Indian National Congress’s demand for an updated caste census. Like many leaders of the opposition, my colleagues and I have raised this demand several times in both houses of Parliament,” the Congress leader said in his letter.
You are aware that the UPA government conducted the first ever Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC) in 2011-12 covering 25 crore households. However, after your government came to power in May 2014, the caste data could not be released for several reasons, even when the Congress and other MPs demanded its release,” he said.
“I fear that in the absence of an updated caste census, a reliable data base, which is much needed for meaningful social justice and empowerment programmes, especially for the OBCs, will be incomplete. This census is the responsibility of the central government,” Kharge said.
In a letter dated April 16, he also pointed out that the regular decennial census was supposed to be conducted in 2021, but it has not been conducted yet. “We demand that it be done immediately and that comprehensive caste census be made an integral part of it,” Kharge said.
Sharing Kharge’s letter to the Prime Minister, Congress General Secretary Jairam Ramesh said, “Jitni Abadi, Utna Haq! Congress leader @Kharkeji has written to the Prime Minister demanding that the decennial census scheduled for 2021 be conducted immediately and castiwari census be made an integral part of it. It will put social justice and empowerment on a solid foundation.
Addressing a rally in Karnataka’s Kolar on Sunday, Congress president Rahul Gandhi encouraged Prime Minister Modi to release the 2011 caste-based census data in the public domain and demanded removal of the 50 per cent cap on reservation.
In 2011, the UPA conducted a caste-based census. It contains data of all castes. Prime Minister, you are talking about OBCs. Make that data public. Let the nation know how many OBCs, Dalits and tribals there are in the country,” Gandhi said at the Congress’ ‘Jai Bharat’ election rally in Kolar ahead of the May 10 Karnataka polls. PTI ASK DV DV