Congress MP Rahul Gandhi on Friday expressed his regret that the Other Backward Class (OBC) quota was not provided under the Bill brought by United Progressive Alliance (UPA) in 2010. Addressing a press conference at the All India Congress Committee (AICC) headquarters in Delhi, Rahul Gandhi said, “100 per cent regret hai. This should have been done then. We will get this done.”
Rahul Gandhi demanded that the data of the previous caste census be released immediately and that a fresh caste census should be held to determine the population of OBCs and other weaker sections. “What is this delay in the census? Caste census should be done now, and the last caste census data should be released at once,” Rahul Gandhi said.
He added that the Congress government will conduct a caste census once it returns to power and added that the country will then know the total of OBCs, Dalits and tribal communities here. He further said that PM Modi speaks of OBCs every day but doesn’t understand what is being done for them.
“I spoke of one institution in Parliament, that which runs the Government of India – Cabinet secretary and secretaries… If they work for OBC, then why are only 3 out of 90 secretaries from OBC? How much and what are these OBC officers controlling the country’s budget? I don’t understand that PM Modi speaks of OBCs every day but what did he do for them?”, he said. He further alleged that OBC MPs have been made idols who have no power at all.
“I want to find out how many OBCs there are in India and how much participation they get. OBCs should get as much share as the percentage of the population that they form. You ask any BJP MP whether he takes any decision? Participate in law-making? no way. OBC MPs have been made idols, who have no power at all,” he added. The Congress leader had spoken about the lower representation of OBCs in the secretary-level posts at the Centre while participating in the debate on the Women’s Reservation Bill in the Lok Sabha. The BJP countered him by saying that it gives larger representation to OBCs and that the number of MPs of the party from the community was more than the total number of parliamentarians of Congress.
Rahul Gandhi said the party extended its full support to the Women’s Reservation Bill but there is no certainty about the date of its implementation and it requires a Census and delimitation exercise. He said should have been implemented immediately. “Women’s Reservation Bill is great but we received two footnotes that Census and Delimitation need to be done before that. Both of these will take years. The truth is that the reservation can be implemented today…This is not a complicated matter but the government doesn’t want to do that. The government has presented this before the country but it will be implemented 10 years from now. Nobody knows if this will even be implemented. This is a distraction tactic, diversion tactic,” Rahul Gandhi said.