HomePoliticsDeputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis Criticizes Congress Over Caste Census Demand

Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis Criticizes Congress Over Caste Census Demand

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In a fiery speech delivered on Friday, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis of Maharashtra lashed out at the Congress party for their recent demand for a caste census. Speaking at a gathering of OBC (Other Backward Classes) community members in Pohradevi, Washim district, Fadnavis cited a 2011 statement by then Union Home Minister and Congress leader P Chidambaram in the Lok Sabha. Chidambaram’s statement in 2011 had decided that a caste census, apart from the Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) categories, would not be conducted.

Fadnavis accused the Congress of consistently being against the interests of OBCs and of opposing the idea of an OBC Prime Minister. He noted, “Whenever an OBC person becomes Prime Minister, it disturbs the Congress. That’s why they use derogatory terms like ‘Neech’ and ‘Maut Ka Saudagar’ for the Prime Minister.”

Fadnavis also highlighted the difference in OBC representation between the Congress and the BJP, stating that of the 250 Chief Ministers appointed by Congress, only 17 percent were from OBC communities. In contrast, of the 68 Chief Ministers appointed by the BJP, 38 percent belonged to OBC communities. Fadnavis emphasized that mere lip service was insufficient when it came to granting rights to people.

The Deputy Chief Minister praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for strengthening the nation and credited him for India’s position as the fifth-largest global economy. Fadnavis highlighted the economic growth, employment opportunities, infrastructure development, access to basic amenities, and various government schemes implemented under Modi’s leadership.

On the issue of the OBC census, Fadnavis clarified that while the BJP had not rejected the idea, a comprehensive caste census, apart from the SC and ST categories, had not been conducted in the country since 1931. He referenced Chidambaram’s 2011 statement in parliament to underscore the Congress’s double standards on the matter.

Fadnavis also criticized the Congress for not explaining why numerous Prime Ministers came from a single family while chanting slogans about power-sharing based on population proportions, taking a swipe at Rahul Gandhi.

Several prominent OBC community leaders attended the event, and Fadnavis pointed out that it was the Congress and Uddhav Thackeray’s party that had opposed the implementation of the Mandal Commission report. He reassured the audience that a leader who speaks for OBCs would govern the country.

Fadnavis highlighted the Modi government’s commitment to OBCs, citing various schemes that have significantly benefited SC, ST, and OBC communities. He mentioned that over 60 percent of ministers in the central government belong to SC, ST, and OBC categories and that schemes like crop insurance, PM Kisan, and PM Awas Yojana have had substantial positive impacts on these communities. Fadnavis also reiterated the state government’s dedication to OBCs, mentioning the formation of a separate OBC ministry and the implementation of various schemes during his tenure. He assured the audience that while providing reservations to the Maratha and Dhangar communities, the government would ensure that existing benefits for other communities remained intact.


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