PM Modi Slams Congress Over Caste Census Promise in Election Manifesto

Congress promises nationwide caste census, BJP accuses it of divisive politics. The debate over the sensitive issue is set to be a key election flashpoint.

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Rafia Tasleem
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PM Modi Slams Congress Over Caste Census Promise in Election Manifesto

PM Modi Slams Congress Over Caste Census Promise in Election Manifesto

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has strongly criticized the Congress party for including a promise to conduct a nationwide socio-economic and caste census in their election manifesto for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. Modi accused the Congress of pursuing divisive politics with this pledge.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has defended the manifesto promise, calling the caste census his "life mission" and a serious political commitment to ensure justice for oppressed sections of society. "The census will provide clarity on the participation of Dalits, adivasis, and poor general castes in various sectors. It is not just a caste survey but also an economic and institutional survey," Gandhi said at a press conference on April 23, 2024.

Gandhi alleged that the BJP government has transferred ₹16 lakh crore to a few select business people while keeping underprivileged sections like Dalits, adivasis and OBCs at arm's length. "They were not present at the inauguration of the Ram temple or the new Parliament building," he pointed out. The Congress leader promised that conducting the caste census will be the first priority if his party forms the government.

Hitting back at Gandhi, PM Modi accused the Congress of pursuing the "same old politics of dividing society" that led to the country's partition in 1947. "The Congress is lighting the fire of casteism to somehow win the election. They want to take the country towards a Venezuela or Cuba-like fate with their communist-inspired redistribution policies," Modi said at a rally in Uttar Pradesh.

Why this matters: The war of words between the BJP and Congress over the proposed caste census has brought the issue of caste-based politics to the forefront of the 2024 election campaign. The outcome could have far-reaching consequences for affirmative action policies and reshaping of the socio-economic landscape in India.

BJP leaders have accused Rahul Gandhi and the Congress of trying to divide society and indulge in "casteist politics" for electoral gains. Congress leaders maintain that the caste census is necessary to ensure equitable representation and upliftment of historically marginalized communities. With both national parties taking strong positions on the sensitive issue, the caste census debate is set to remain a key political flashpoint as the election campaign heats up in the coming months.

Key Takeaways

  • PM Modi criticized Congress's promise of nationwide caste census as divisive politics.
  • Rahul Gandhi defended the census as a mission to ensure justice for marginalized groups.
  • Congress accused BJP of favoring select businesses while neglecting Dalits, adivasis, and OBCs.
  • PM Modi accused Congress of pursuing communist-inspired redistribution policies to win elections.
  • The caste census debate is set to be a key political issue in the 2024 elections.