New Delhi: Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on Monday shared the letter he wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding the up-to-date caste census. In the letter dated April 16, 2023, Kharge also pointed out that the regular decennial census was to be carried out in 2021 but it has not yet been conducted. He said that in the absence of an updated caste census, a reliable database so very essential for meaningful social justice and empowerment programmes, particularly for OBCs, is incomplete.
“I am writing to you to once again place on record the demand of the Indian National Congress for an up-to-date Caste Census. My colleagues and I have raised this demand earlier in both House of Parliament on a number of occasions as have leaders of many other Opposition parties,” Mallikarjun Kharge wrote in his letter.
The Congress chief told PM Modi that it was the UPA government that conducted a Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC) for the first time during 2011-12 covering some 25 crore households.
For a number of reasons, however, the caste data could not get published even though Congress and other MPs demanded its release after your government came to power in May 2014, he said.
“In the absence of an updated Caste Census, I am afraid a reliable data base so very essential for meaningful social justice and empowerment programmes, particularly for OBCs, is incomplete. This Census is the responsibility of the Union Government,” Kharge said.
He demanded that it be done immediately and that a comprehensive Caste Census be made its integral part.
My letter to the Prime Minister demanding the publication of Socio Economic Caste Census.
Regular decennial Census was to be carried out in 2021 but it has not been conducted. We demand that it be done immediately and that a comprehensive Caste Census be made its integral part. pic.twitter.com/eoL52gRFC1— Mallikarjun Kharge (@kharge) April 17, 2023
Earlier on Sunday, while addressing a rally in Katnataka’s Kolar, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had dared Prime Minister Modi to release the 2011 caste-based census data in the public domain and also demanded the 50 per cent cap on reservation be removed.
“UPA in 2011 did the caste-based census. It has the data of all the castes. Mr Prime Minister, you talk of OBCs. Make that data public. Let the nation know how many OBCs, Dalits, and tribals are there in the country,” Gandhi had said at the Congress’ ‘Jai Bharat’ election rally in Kolar in the run-up to the May 10 Karnataka polls.
He claimed there are only 7 per cent other backward castes, Dalits and tribals as secretaries in the central government.
The more the population, the more rights!