Congress former chief Rahul Gandhi challenged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to release the 2011 caste-based census data to the public.
Speaking at the Congress’ ‘Jai Bharat’ election rally in Kolar on Sunday, Gandhi argued that the release of this data is crucial to ensuring that every community has a fair share in the development of the country.
“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 said.
During the Congress-led UPA regime in 2011, the Socio-Economic and Caste Census (SECC) was compiled. Despite the release of reports from the census, the information pertaining to caste has not been disclosed to the public.
Gandhi also said that only 7 per cent of secretaries in the Union government are from Dalit, Adivasi and OBC communities.
“If everyone has to become part of the development of the country, it is necessary to find out the population size of each community. Please release the caste census data so that the nation knows how much is the population of OBCs, Dalits, and tribals. If you don’t do this, then it is an insult to the OBCs,” Gandhi added.
“The biggest question is how many OBCs, tribals and Dalits are there in India. If we talk of money and power distribution, then the first step should be to find out the size of their population,” Gandhi said.
Gandhi also demanded the removal of the 50 per cent cap on reservations.
“Reservation for SC and STs should be proportional to their population. (The Union government) should lift the 50 percent cap in reservation,” he said.