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Kharge Writes To PM Modi On Caste Census For Social Justice

In the absence of an updated Caste Census, a reliable database so very essential for meaningful social justice and empowerment programs, particularly for OBCs, is incomplete, Kharge wrote in his letter.

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Mallikarjuna Kharge
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The same day as Rahul Gandhi asked PM Modi during his speech in Kolar, Karnataka to remove the 50 per cent cap on OBC, Dalit, and Adivasi reservations, Congress President Mallikarjuna Kharge in a letter to the Prime Minister asked the Prime Minister for a comprehensive up-to-date caste census.

Rahul Gandhi had earlier on Sunday dared the top BJP leader to release the 2011 caste-based census data in the public domain. In his letter, Kharge said the UPA government had initiated a Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC) during 2011-12 but the data could not be published “even though Congress and other MPs demanded its release after your government came to power in May 2014.”

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“In the absence of an updated Caste Census, I am afraid a reliable database so very essential for meaningful social justice and empowerment programs, particularly for OBCs, is incomplete. This Census is the responsibility of the Union Government,” the veteran Congress leader said.

“I would also like to point out that the regular decennial Census was to be carried out in 2021 but it has not yet been conducted. We demand that it be done immediately and that a comprehensive Caste Census be made its integral part,” Kharge added.

Addressing an election rally, Rahul Gandhi claimed there are only 7 per cent of other backward castes, Dalits, and tribals as secretaries in the central government and demanded the removal of the 50 per cent cap on the reservation.

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"When we talk about Dalits, OBC, the people of India, what is the biggest question? The biggest question is which section has the highest population. If you see the number of secretaries in the government, only 7 per cent are OBC, Adivasis, and Dalits. The question is what is the population of OBC, Adivasis, and Dalits in the country before you talk about the distribution of wealth and political representation," he said.

"The UPA government started caste-based census in 2011... It is important to know the population of every section to determine their political representation if you want to take everyone along on the path to development," Gandhi added.

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